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Pompeo: “unmistakeable” Iran carried out attacks on oil tankers

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says it is “unmistakable” that Iran attacked two oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz last week.

Speaking to Fox News’ Chris Wallace Sunday, Mr. Pompeo said Iran carried out the attacks “with the clear intent to deny transit through the strait.”

The Pentagon late Thursday released photographs and a grainy black-and-white video purportedly showing Iran’s Revolutionary Guard removing an unexploded mine from the side of an oil tanker targeted in the Gulf of Oman earlier that day.

U.S. Central Command said American forces in the region witnessed and recorded an Iranian boat approach the oil tanker Kokuka Courageous and remove an unexploded limpet mine from the side of the vessel. The video footage released by the Defense Department appears to show a small device being removed from the ship.

Mr. Pompeo said the U.S. intelligence community has significant evidence to blame Tehran for the attacks.

“The American people should rest assured we have high confidence with respect to who conducted these attacks as well as who conducted other attacks within the last 40 days,” the secretary of state said.

U.S. officials said that limpet mines also were used in a May attack on four oil tankers, which the Trump administration also has blamed on Iran.

Mr. Pompeo maintained that the U.S. does not seek war with Iran but will defend itself if necessary — a message the Trump administration has repeated for weeks since the Pentagon deployed additional forces to the region last month citing a threat to U.S. interests.

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