President Donald Trump on Friday doubled down in accusing Iran of executing twin tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman, saying the incident had Iran “written all over it”.
“Iran did do it,” Trump said in an interview on Fox and Friends, after the US military released footage it said showed an Iranian patrol boat removing an “unexploded limpet mine” from one of the tankers.
“You know they did it because you saw the boat,” Trump said. “I guess one of the mines didn’t explode and it’s probably got essentially Iran written all over it.”
“You saw the boat at night, successfully trying to take the mine off – and that was exposed.”
The US Fifth Fleet said on Thursday that its vessels in the Middle East had received distress calls from two tankers reportedly under attack in the Gulf of Oman.
“We are aware of the reported attack on tankers in the Gulf of Oman,” said a statement from the Fifth Fleet, based in Bahrain.
“US naval forces in the region received two separate distress calls at 6.12am. local time and a second one at 7am,” the statement said.
“US Navy ships are in the area and are rendering assistance.”
World oil prices surged following reports of the suspected attacks, exacerbating tensions in the crude-rich Middle East, analysts said.
John Hall, chairperson of British-based consultancy Alfa Energy, said: “Tension across the Middle East is high — and the attacks on two tankers [have] further exacerbated the situation, even though there does not appear to have been any damage to the cargos.”