The US Central Command released a video on Thursday that they claim shows Iranian forces on a patrol boat removing a mine from the Kokuka Courageous tanker.
«At 4:10 p.m. local time an IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps; a branch of Iran's Armed Forces] Gashti Class patrol boat approached the M/T Kokuka Courageous and was observed and recorded removing the unexploded limpet mine from the M/T... Еще Kokuka Courageous (video attached),» declared in a statement Navy Captain Bill Urban, a spokesperson for the US military's Central Command.
The statement continued, saying that «the U.S. and the international community, stand ready to defend our interests, including the freedom of navigation. The United States has no interest in engaging in a new conflict in the Middle East. However, we will defend our interests.»
The statement came after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Iran of being responsible for the attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.
Two ships owned by companies in Norway and Singapore were reportedly attacked south of the Strait of Hormuz through which almost a fifth of the world's oil exports pass through.
The incident comes amid spiraling tensions between Tehran and Washington DC, which has pointed the finger at Iran over attacks on four vessels last month.
MANDATORY CREDIT: U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND PUBLIC AFFAIRS
mandatory credit: u.s. central command public affairs