Just days after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Iran could be responsible for the attack on two oil tankers that took place in the Gulf of Oman, President Donald Trump reiterated his comments, saying that Tehran was definitely behind the attack.
In making his claim, Trump pointed to a video released by the Pentagon as proof of Iran’s culpability, although he refused to say how the U.S. would respond.
“Iran did do it,” the President said in an interview with Fox News Friday morning. “You saw the boat, I guess one to have mines didn’t explode and it has essentially got Iran written all over it. And you saw the boat at night trying to take the mine off the boat, unsuccessfully took the mine off the boat and that was exposed. And that was their boat, that was them, and they didn’t want the evidence left behind. It was them that did it.”
Tehran denied the accusations, made just weeks after a similar attack which the U.S. also put the blame on Iran for. The latest incident and the U.S.’ response will likely heighten tensions with Iran even further. The United States recently deployed an aircraft carrier to the Middle East, arguing that the move comes in response to intelligence clearly showing an imminent threat from Iran.
Last month, President Trump tweeted the following, “If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!” He later issued another threat, saying that Iran will suffer should they attempt to carry out an attack on U.S. troops, ships or other American interests in the region.
Trump failed to provide an answer as to how the country would respond to Iranian provocations and aggression, stressing instead that his administration’s crippling sanctions on Iran have yielded the expected results.
“We are being very tough. We are being very tough on sanctions,” he said during the Friday interview, adding later that if Iran wanted to sit on the negotiating table, he would be more than willing to do so.