Tanker attacks dirty politics to provoke Iran-US war: Iran’s UK envoy
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Tanker attacks dirty politics to provoke Iran-US war: Iran’s UK envoy

“As we have said, this is unfortunately part of a dirty politics and unfortunately the people who want to drag the United States into a military confrontation are making these kinds of assessments to support a confrontation, but let me be very clear … these are just fabrications,” Hamid Baeidinejad said in an interview with RT broadcast on Wednesday. He cast doubt on the video and images provided by the US as proof of what it calls an Iranian role in the attacks, which hit one Japanese-owned and one Norwegian-owned tanker on June 13. The tankers were carrying Japanese-related crude near the strategic Strait of Hormuz. “They know themselves that these pictures don’t prove what they are claiming. In fact, they are saying that we have an assessment, but the question is the assessment should be based on facts and evidence. These pictures that have been released are very distorted and you cannot get any conclusion out of it,” Baeidinejad added. Washington rushed to blame Iran for the incident, with the US military releasing a grainy video it claimed shows Iranian forces in a patrol boat removing an unexploded mine from the side of the Japanese-owned tanker. It later released some images of the purported Iranian operation after the video was seriously challenged by experts and Washington’s own allies. The US has blamed Iran for a similar attack on May 12 off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. Tehran has vigorously denied the allegations, calling the attacks “suspicious.” The Iranian envoy, however, said “We would be very much supporting a neutral and thorough investigation into the issue.” “We, as Iran, would be very delighted to be part of an international investigation that we would, in fact, professionally get the matter considered and look at the evidence because we know that they are in the region. They have sophisticated equipment; they can have very clear images from what has happened before the fire, after the fire and many incidents that are not clear in these pictures,” he said. The cause of the attacks are not yet known, but the Japanese shipping company has said crewmembers saw two “flying objects” before a second blast on the ship, contradicting the US account that mines had hit the vessels.  The incident has added to rising tensions between the US and Iran, and in the Persian Gulf region.  Shortly after the new images were released, the US also announced it was sending 1,000 more troops to the Middle East. Washington’s decision to strengthen its military build-up in the region began in May when the US sent an aircraft carrier strike group to the region along with Patriot missile batteries, among other reinforcements, citing alleged Iranian threats.

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