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article imageJapanese tanker owner contradicts US account of attack

By Ken Hanly     Jun 15, 2019 in Politics
The owner of the Kokuka Outrageous the Japanese tanker attacked last Thursday contradicted US claims about the incident. US Central Command claimed the two tankers were hit with limpet mines a type of mine that is attached to the hull below the waterline.
Owner says he received reports a projectile hit the ship
Yutaka Katada the owner of the Kokuka Outrageous
claims he received reports that a projectile hit the ship. At a press conference Kata said: "We received reports that something flew towards the ship. The place where the projectile landed was significantly higher than the water level, so we are absolutely sure that this wasn’t a torpedo. I do not think there was a time bomb or an object attached to the side of the ship."
The US blames Iran
The US Central Command released a black and white video of a boat alongside a ship. The Command claimed it was an Iranian patrol boat removing a limpet mine from the Kobuka Courageous with the US saying the Iranians were destroying the evidence.
However, the video is not clear enough to tell exactly what the boat was doing. Iranian state media said that Iran had rescued crews from both ships. The video could just have recorded the crew begin rescued. You would think that if a mine were removed this would have been reported by the ship's crew.
On a Fox and Friends interview on Friday morning President Donald Trump also blamed Iran for the attacks on the tankers and cited the video as poor saying: “Iran did do it and you know they did it because you saw the boat. They’re in deep, deep trouble...We don’t take it lightly,” he added, pointing out the US had already reimposed tough sanctions on Iran. They’ve been told in very strong terms … we want to get them back to the table if they want to get back. I’m in no rush.”
On this issue Trump is falling in line with his hawkish Secretary of State Mike Pompeio who on Thursday also accused Iran of attacking the tankers but gave no evidence to back up his claim.
Others are more cautious
UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt refused to resolutely back up the US claim right away saying on Friday: "We are going to make our own independent assessment, we have our processes to do that, (but) we have no reason not to believe the American assessment and our instinct is to believe it because they are our closest ally."
The EU issued an even more cautious statement: "The European Union called on Friday for maximum restraint amid mounting tensions over U.S. accusations against Iran over attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.“We are gathering more information and we are assessing the situation,” a spokeswoman for the EU’s foreign service told reporters. “We have said repeatedly that the region doesn’t need further escalation, it doesn’t need destabilization, it doesn’t need further tension and therefore we call for maximum restraint and to avoid provocations.”"
Iran denied responsibility for the attacks on Friday. No US officials have responded to the Japanese ship owner's remarks.
Many have suggested that this is a false flag operation as considered on the appended video. Note that the attack took place when the Japanese PM made a historic visit to Iran. However, there are other explanations as well.
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