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16 June, 2019 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 15 June, 2019 11:20:53 PM
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tanker blasts on gulf

Trump blames Iran, says sea lane not at risk

AFP, Washington
Trump blames Iran, says sea lane not at risk

US President Donald Trump declared Friday that a mysterious attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman had Iran “written all over it,” rejecting Tehran’s denial that it had any involvement. As US-Iranian tensions soared, Trump dismissed previous threats by Tehran that in case of conflict it could block the Hormuz Strait—a narrow seaway vital to the world’s oil supplies. Speaking hours after the US military released grainy footage it said showed an Iranian patrol boat removing an “unexploded limpet mine” from one of the tankers, Trump was emphatic.

“Iran did do it,” Trump told Fox News. “You know they did it because you saw the boat. I guess one of the mines didn’t explode and it’s probably got essentially Iran written all over it.” “You saw the boat at night, successfully trying to take the mine off—and that was exposed,” he added.

Iran rejected the US accusations.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted that the US had “immediately jumped to make allegations against Iran without a shred of factual or circumstantial evidence.” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for an independent investigation.

“It’s very important to know the truth. It’s very important that responsibilities are clarified,” Guterres told reporters at UN headquarters in New York.

“Obviously that can only be done if there is an independent entity that verifies those facts.”

Meanwhile, Britain’s assessment found that Iran was “almost certainly” behind the attacks, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said.

London pinned the blame for Thursday’s attack on the Islamic Revolutionary Guard—a vast and powerful branch of the Iranian military. Iran has repeatedly warned in the past that it could block the Hormuz Strait in a relatively low-tech, high-impact countermeasure to any attack by the United States.

Doing so would disrupt oil tankers traveling out of the Gulf region to the Indian Ocean and global export routes. Trump played down the threat. “It’s not going to be closed, it’s not going to be closed for long and they know it. They’ve been told in very strong terms,” Trump said.

 

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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