Pentagon planning for possible reinforcements in Persian Gulf
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Pentagon planning for possible reinforcements in Persian Gulf

The remarks by acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan on Friday came after the US had accused Iran of being responsible for the recent attacks on two oil tankers in the Sea of Oman. “When you look at the situation, a Norwegian ship, a Japanese ship, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the [United Arab Emirates] — 15% of the world's oil flows through the Strait of Hormuz,” Shanahan said. “So we obviously need to make contingency plans should the situation deteriorate.” He also said that Washington would provide more evidence to show Iran had a role in the attacks like video footage the US military released, which has been disputed by Washington's allies and Western analysts. “The more information that we can declassify, the more information we can share, we will. And that's our intent. And I think as you saw yesterday — doing it quickly.” The US Central Command (CENTCOM) released the video late Thursday purportedly showing "Iranian sailors" removing a mine from the Japanese-owned Kokura Courageous' hull earlier in the day. Except for Britain, European governments have so far refused to accept the US' narrative that Tehran was to blame for the "suspicious" attacks. They are reluctant to accept the White House’s claims at face value, and do not want to provide Washington with any pretext for war. Early on Friday, Iran warned the US to stop playing a blame game through the "suspicious" attacks, describing the American behavior as "worrying." The stern warning by Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi Friday came after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo offhandedly blamed Tehran for the attacks. Shanahan also said the administration of President Donald Trump is currently working on building international consensus following the attacks. White House national security adviser John Bolton and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are involved in the process, he added.

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