War On: Pompeo Blames Iran for suspicious tanker attacks

Early this morning, around 6:00 UTC, two tankers in the Gulf of Oman were attacked by surface weapons. Both ships were some 50 kilometers south-east of Bandar-e Jask, Iran, and some 100+ kilometers east of Fujairah.

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Game On: Pompeo Blames Iran, Calls Attacks ‘Threat to International Peace’

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Thursday that the U.S. has determined that Iran is responsible for Friday attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman and the Strait of Hormuz, along vital oil shipping routes.

“It is the assessment by the United States government that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks that occurred in the Gulf of Oman today,” Pompeo said during a press briefing at the State Department Thursday.

“This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication,” the Secretary said, without taking questions. He did not cite specific evidence as to why the U.S. believes Iran, or its proxies, are responsible for the attacks. National Security Adviser John Bolton said last month that Iran was behind a similar attack on four commercial tankers in the same area on May 12.

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“A US government assesment” Not an intellligence assesment?

“Intelligence reports are normally released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and labelled an “Intelligence Assessment.” This report was described as a “Government Assessment” and the unclassified version was released by the White House Press Secretary. One former intelligence official told Inter Press Service that the description as a “Government” rather than an “Intelligence” assessment “means that this is not an intelligence community document”; another said that the White House had apparently “decided on a position and cherry-picked the intelligence to fit
it”.

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Pompeo described the judgment of Iranian guilt in the Gulf of Oman burnings as “a US Government Assessment.”   In light of the chicanery involved in the “US Government Assessment” after the Ghouta “attack” in 2013 I would like to know how many agencies of the USIC concur in the present judgment.

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Today’s Attacks On Ships In The Gulf Of Oman Are Not In Iran’s Interest – Or Are They? (Updated)

Early this morning, around 6:00 UTC, two tankers in the Gulf of Oman were attacked by surface weapons. Both ships were some 50 kilometers south-east of Bandar-e Jask, Iran, and some 100+ kilometers east of Fujairah.

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The Front Altair, a 250 meter long crude oil tanker under the flag of the Marshal Islands, came from the United Arab Emirates and was on was on its way to Taiwan. Its load of 75,000 tons of naphta caught fire and the crew had to abandon the ship.

The second attacked ship is the Kokuka Courageous, a 170 meter long tanker flagged by Panama. It was coming from Saudi Arabia and on its way to Singapore. The ship has its hull breached above the water line, but its load of methanol seems to be intact.

The Iranian Search and Rescue ship Naji picked up the 44 crews members of both ships and brought them to Bandar-E Jash. Oil prices increased by some 4%.

These attacks come a month after four ships anchoring near the UAE port Fujairah were damaged by explosives attached to their hulls. The investigation of that incident by the UAE did not blame anyone for the attack but suggested that a nation state must have been behind it. U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton blamed Iran.

It is likely that Iranian proxy forces were involved in the May attacks. It seems unlikely that Iran had anything to do with today’s attacks.

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Saudi Expert: Tankers Attack A UAE Plot against Iran

“The UAE is playing with regional security after targeting the oil tankers in the Sea of Oman and therefore, it had declared a state of emergency before the incident. The reason is to make the US agree with military attack against Iran and win Oman and Pakistan’s support,” he added.

“I had told you in Ramadan that Abu Dhabi has inflamed war in the (Persian) Gulf with Riyadh’s support. They think that (war) is a kids’ game. Iran can annihilate the UAE only with a single retweet,” Hezam said.

All crew members of the two oil tankers which were hit in the Sea of Oman were saved by Iranian rescue teams on Thursday.

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14737672-7136333-Inferno_A_fire_rages_on_board_the_oil_tanker_MT_Front_Altair_aft-a-92_156042776482614737674-7136333-Smoke_pours_from_the_Norwegian_owned_oil_tanker_on_Thursday_afte-a-99_156042776485414740070-7136333-image-a-115_156042815781114740072-7136333-image-a-114_156042807379914744284-7136333-image-m-124_156043372000414744286-7136333-image-m-127_156043423168114747072-7136333-image-m-130_1560437037997AD-LOCATOR-Tanker-Fire-V3D88cz1lXoAEOT5LD88cz1sXoAAu7-9NINTCHDBPICT000497386552NINTCHDBPICT000497397019NINTCHDBPICT000497397023-1NINTCHDBPICT000497402731NINTCHDBPICT000497405267oiloiltanker2An Iranian navy boat tries to stop the fire of an oil tanker after it was attacked in the Gulf of Omanship-fire-AP

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