2019 Jun 14, 10:10am
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That account contradicts what the U.S. military has said as it released a video it says shows Iranian forces removing an unexploded limpet mine from one of the two ships in the suspected attack.
The black-and-white U.S. video of the Iranians alongside the Japanese-owned tanker Kokuka Courageous came after its crew abandoned ship after seeing the undetonated explosive on its hull, said Capt. Bill Urban, a spokesman for the U.S. military’s Central Command. It separately shared photos of the vessel, which showed what appeared to be a conical limpet mine against its side.In the video, the boat from Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard pulls alongside Kokuka Courageous at 4:10 p.m. Thursday. The Iranians reach up and grab along where the limpet mine could be seen in the photo. They then sail away.Limpet mines, which are magnetic and attach to a ship’s hull, are designed to disable a vessel without sinking it.Analysts say Iran, if involved, wouldn’t want investigators to find an unexploded mine because they could check its serial numbers and other attributes to trace it.“The U.S. and the international community stand ready to defend our interests, including the freedom of navigation,” Urban said in a statement. “The United States has no interest in engaging in a new conflict in the Middle East. However, we will defend our interests.”