Video Shows Iran Removing A Mine From An Oil Tanker, US Says

Video Shows Iran Removing A Mine From An Oil Tanker, US Says

Relations between Tehran and Washington took a turn for the worse previous year, when U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers, and reimposed sanctions that were lifted under the deal in return for Tehran curbing its nuclear work.

Following the blast, the USA said it has proofs that Iran was behind the attacks while Reuters recently quoted anonymous official mentioning that the video clip clearly shows Iran's Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) approaching the vessel and removing the mine.

"Wisdom and collective responsibility are needed to prevent more escalation", Anwar Gargash tweeted, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Russian Federation has warned against drawing "hasty conclusions".

The Iranian mission to the United Nations rejected the US' claim. Iran also denied those accusations.

"For the past two years, the U.S. government has used its economic, financial and military power through an aggressive approach to disrupt all worldwide structures and regulations, which has turned him into a serious threat for the stability of the region and the world", he said.

In abandoning the nuclear deal, Trump said he wanted Iran to curb its nuclear work and development of missiles, as well as halt support for proxy forces in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.

After meeting Mr Abe, he said: "Iran has a chance to be a great country, with the same leadership". Nearly one-fifth of the world's oil exports - from Saudi Arabia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait and Iraq - is exported using this route.

"I guess one of the mines didn't explode and it's probably got essentially Iran written all over it", he added.

"You know they did it because you saw the boat", Trump told the "Fox and Friends" show.

Abe told reporters he briefed Trump by phone on his trip to Iran but did not give details, except to say the president thanked him for trying to help de-escalate tensions in the region and that he planned to continue cooperating closely with the U.S.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia said Friday its military intercepted five drones launched by Houthi rebels targeting the kingdom, including the Abha regional airport. The Trump administration withdrew from that agreement past year.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has described the incidents as suspicious.

The footage released by the U.S. on Thursday is rather more convincing than the circumstantial evidence it had provided earlier.

Already, Iran says it quadrupled its production of low-enriched uranium.

IRGC commandos regularly practise covert operations and simulated attacks. "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", he told BBC.

Iran denies involvement in the incidents, while its foreign minister Zarif said on Twitter that the U.S. There will likely be doubts in Tehran as to whether this video is genuine.

One of the targeted ships is owned by a Japanese company while the other was Norwegian-operated.

A defense official confirmed to VOA that crew members from the Norwegian ship were in Iranian custody.

The Associated Press is reporting that the operator of the Japanese ship, the Kokuka Courageous, one of the vessels attacked in the Gulf of Oman, says sailors on board saw "flying objects" just before the attack, suggesting the tanker wasn't damaged by mines.

The Kokuka Courageous was about 30km (20 miles) off the Iranian coast when it sent its emergency call.

The other ship, the Marshall Islands-listed Front Altair, was chartered by Taiwanese oil refiner CPC carry 75,000 tons of naphtha from the UAE to southern Taiwan, company Vice President Chen Ming-hui said. The Kokuka Courageous was carrying methanol from Saudi Arabia to Singapore. The impact happened above the water line so there was no damage to goods and fuel, and it is unlikely that the ship would sink, Katada said.

Why are US-Iran tensions so high?

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