US Releases New Photos It Says Incriminate Iran In Tanker Attacks

The US has accused the Iranian government of the attack and has been releasing digital evidence it believes backs up its claims.

If having expertise sophisticated enough to conduct the attack could be a reason to conclude that the attacker was Iran, "That would apply to the United States and Israel as well", said a source at the Foreign Ministry.

"It is the assessment of the United States that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks", he said in Washington, DC.

"The intelligence community has lots of data, lots of evidence - the world will come to see much of it", he said on "Fox News Sunday."

News of the additional troop deployment comes as the State Department announced Monday that Secretary of State Michael Pompeo will travel Tuesday to the command center that oversees Middle East military operations. "But the Iranians should understand very clearly that we will continue to take actions that deter Iran from engaging in this kind of behavior".

'The question is this: what Colin Powell's chief of staff has said is that we are talking about a country which is seven times the size of Syria, it has three-and-a-half times the population of Syria before the war, these are extremely risky developments and we really have to pause and think about where we are going next.

The Japanese-owned tanker, abandoned by its crew, was being towed to a port in the United Arab Emirates on Friday, after a Dutch firm said it had been appointed to salvage the ships.

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On Monday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo joined Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in blaming Iran for attacks on two oil tankers, but said the US did not want to go to war with Tehran.

The Department of Defense later released a video allegedly showing an Iranian patrol boat removing an unexploded mine attached to the side of the Japanese-operated tanker Kokuka Courageous.

Speaking earlier in the day, Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran's foreign minister, said the timing of the reported attacks was "suspicious" since they coincided with a meeting between the country's supreme leader and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was in Tehran to defuse escalating US-Iran tensions.

Three weeks later, on May 12, Iran attacked four oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, according to the White House.

Although information of what exactly happened was still scarce, the incidents near the strategically important Strait of Hormuz prompted worldwide alarm and sent oil prices spiralling upward. Some of the USA claims have been directly contradicted by the Japanese owner of one of the tankers.

Pompeo said the U.S. was discussing a possible worldwide response, and he had made a number of calls to foreign officials about the tanker attacks. Iran started rolling back its compliance with the landmark agreement last month, following the US withdrawal and the reimposition of sanctions a year ago.

"I made a number of calls to colleagues around the world yesterday".

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