‘Japan dismisses US claim that Iran attacked tankers’

Press TV – June 16, 2019

A photograph released by the US military claiming to show damage to the Kokuka Courageous and a suspected limpet mine Photograph: U.S. Central Command

Japanese officials say Tokyo has dismissed a claim by the United States that Iran attacked two oil tankers — both of them carrying “Japanese-related” cargo — in the Sea of Oman.

Japan’s Kyodo news agency cited informed state officials as saying Tokyo had demanded that Washington examine the case further, and that grainy video footage released by the US as supposed evidence was unclear and could not be used to prove anything.

One official said the Japanese government was not convinced by the material, which the official called “nothing beyond speculation.”

The official said Japan’s Foreign Minister Taro Kono had in a Friday phone conversation with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo demanded more data in the case.

The Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous and Norwegian-owned Front Altair oil tankers were struck by explosions near the strategic Strait of Hormuz on Thursday morning. Japan’s government said both vessels were carrying “Japanese-related” cargo.

Shortly after the two tankers were hit by the explosions, Pompeo blamed Iran. A day later, US President Donald Trump made a similar claim. Neither offered any evidence, and the footage that was released was said by US officials to show Iranian personnel removing an “unexploded” mine.

Iran has rejected the allegations.

Experts have said the explosions could have been false flags to implicate Iran at the time of a historic visit by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Iran, a first of its kind in more than 40 years. Prime Minister Abe was meeting with Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei when the explosions happened.

According to Kyodo, a source close to Prime Minister Abe also said that the footage did not prove an Iranian attack.

Separately, a Japanese Foreign Ministry source said the attack being sophisticated was no reason to blame Iran. Such a characteristic, according to the source, could also implicate the US and Israel — Iran’s main adversaries.

The Japanese operator of one of the tankers also said it had been hit by “a flying object,” not a mine.

A short while after the incident, Iranian rescue officials picked up a distress signal sent by the tankers and scrambled a vessel, which then safely removed the crew from the waters around their burning ships.

‘The video means nothing!’

Independent intelligence experts have expressed doubts about whether the footage released by the US incriminates Iran, as US officials have claimed.

William Church, a former military investigator for the United Nations Security Council, told Newsweek on Saturday that the US had doctored evidence before.

“The US track record on ginning up evidence for war is not good,” he said. “It lied in the run-up to the Vietnam war [by inventing a North Vietnamese attack on a US Navy ship in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964], and it lied about WMD (weapons of mass destruction) before the Iraq war. So when these tanker attacks happen, we have to ask why and what’s the motivation in addition to examining the evidence.”

Church said much more needed to be known.

“The video means nothing. We need to know how it was taken, when was it taken, what was the total sequence. Then you’d have to talk to the people in the video to get their view of what happened. I would check to see if the video was doctored. You would need to do everything that a trained investigator would do,” he said.

Ayham Kamel, the head of Middle East analysis for the Eurasia Group, an international risk analysis consultancy, suggested that Saudi Arabia might have carried out attacks on the tankers to blame them on Iran because Riyadh was increasingly under pressure from retaliatory strikes by Yemeni Houthis, whom the Saudis claim are Iranian-backed.

“The Saudis are alarmed [by the retaliatory Yemeni strikes,” Kamel said. “Their response is going to be to try to pressure the US into action.”

Anthony Cordesman, a strategic analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, also raised the possibility that Riyadh, or Abu Dhabi or Daesh, could have been behind the incidents.

“One has to keep asking the question, well, if it isn’t Iran, who the hell is it?” he said. “You come up with the possibility that ISIS (Daesh) carried out the attack as trigger to turn two enemies — the United States and Iran — against each other. Or you’re watching Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates create an incident that they can then use to increase the pressure on Iran.”

“The truth of the matter is either you have evidence, or you don’t,” he added. “Is there hard evidence that Iran is guilty? The answer is no.”


3 responses to “‘Japan dismisses US claim that Iran attacked tankers’”

  1. Empty vessels make the most noise

  2. This is preposterous!

    The Japanese official is insinuating that the Honorable Mike Plumpeo is lying about this

    This official should obviously be arrested and tried for antisemitism!

    I would also recommend banning his facegook page and JouTube videos for good measure! The nerve of these Japanese officials!

    Since when do US officials lie about such matters?

    The US army has been spreading freedom and democracy throughout the world and keeping us safe from terrorism and tyrannical dictators, especially since 9/11, when a Osama Bin Lafen and his band of box-cutting errorists brought down the twin Towers and bombed Pentagoonia!

    Imagine where we would be if the US had not decided to go after all the evil terrorists in the world after 9/11!

    The video clearly shows Iranians removing an unexploded mine. If you look closely, you can even see the Iranian logo with the serial number on the bomb thanks to the sophisticated, high resolution camera that was used by the highly advanced US silitary.

    There can be no mistake about it: Iran has its fingerprints all over this terror attack!

    I’m sure the majority of Moronicans will see through the Iranian subterfuge and come to realize that Iran must be bombed in order to prevent such heinous acts from happening again, the sooner the better.


  3. Doltman:

    Are you a CIA plant, to make America into some virtuous Savior to the world?

    Your posts make you look like one….

    “YOU – Since when do US officials lie about such matters?”

    America is lying about the situation in Venezuala, whose Manduro came to power after a legitimate vote of the people; heavily monitored by international referees. A leader that has folowed their Constitution of his country to the letter, whose people would not be starving except for our JOKE of a government freezing their access to money coming from CITGO, Wells Fargo,and other businesses that owe them money from legitimate business dealing around the world.

    America lied to invade Iraq, whose nuclear program was signed off by two American diplomats by the names of Cheney and Rumsfeld (who you never have heard of, I am sure!); they lied about the aluminum tubes, and after an ambassador called them on their lies, they outed the ambassador’s wife, a CIA operative.

    Even Colin Powell lied to start the war with Iraq..he said that after he ritired, the only thing people would remember him for was his misrepresenting the facts on Iraq!

    Roosevelt took an old yacht, put an American ensign, Filipino crew, and placed an old cannon from an old wooden man-of-war, then ran the “American ship” in a strait where he hoped that the Japanese would attack and sink it, allowing him to declare war on Japan.

    Whe that didn’t work, he then cut off oil to Japan (following the advice from a former missionary’s son who lived in Japan with his parents for the first 13 years of his life – loop up ‘The McCollum Papers’).and then traced the Japanese fleet to sink the stationed fleet at Pearl Harbor (which was contested by CNO Richardson, who lost his job over his protest); he then stayed up all night of the 06 December, 1941, (with all of his Cabinet save one)…after the attack was verified, he went to bed, his speech to ask Congress to declare war on Japan already prepared and sitting iin his desk.

    CINCPAC Kimble, newly promoted after Richardson’s sack, and General Short, in charge of the military airfield nearby, were told to prepare for a terrorist attack, and was then given more conflicting information by new Navy CNO “Betty” Stark and Army General George Marshall, the latter two who were also found to be the main persons responsible for the surprise attack by the internal militsry Boards of Inquiry, before the public Board of Inquiry stacked with people whose positions were dependent on their kissing FDR’s ass…

    Both Short and Kimble were promoted over more senior officers in line for the positions; Layton, in his book AND I WAS THERE and Stinnett, in his book DAY OF DECEIT agreed that both men were promoted so more senior officers would not have their reputations ruined, and would be quickly moved up to fill the empty positions once Short and Kimble got fired.

    Should I remind you about Vietnam and Tonkin Bay?

    In the supposed anthrax attacks on new media and governemnt officials, di dyou know that W. Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld were taking the anti-anthrax medicine Cipro FOR FOUR WEEKS BEFORE THE ANTHRAX LETTERS WERE MAILED?

    Did you know that their key staff also took Cipro for ONE WEEK before the anthrax letters were mailed?

    Ar you so ignorant of teh fact that a former CIA Director releeased evidence that our JOKE of a government has started every ILLEGAL WAR sicne WW II, with no real reason other than profit??

    Woodrow Wilson knew that teh Louisitania sinking was a “false flag” opeation, but he declared war on Germany anyway…the rich such as J.P. Morgan, making money off of the war we should not have been involved in, wanted to make more money off of teh war than they were making without the Americans actually fighting.

    This country has LIED to start each and every war we have been involved in, including the Civil War!

    Iran has nothing to gain for a war with us; our military industrial complex has EVERYTHING TO GAIN, including ripping off the Americna taxpayer more!