Iran urges US, allies to stop 'false flag operations' in region

The claim, however, was soon rejected by the Japanese ship's operator, whose president said on Friday its sailors on board the Kokuka Courageous saw "flying objects" just before the attack, suggesting the tanker wasn't damaged by mines.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is calling for an independent investigation into the suspected attacks on two tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, saying it's important to know the truth about what happened.

A United States official told Reuters on Friday a surface-to-air missile was sacked from Iranian territory on Thursday morning at a U.S. drone that was near Front Altair following the attack on the tanker.

Iran, meanwhile, has denied responsibility for the attack. And you saw the boat at night, trying to take the mine off and successfully took the mine off the boat. "It has Iran written all over it". "We have that. It was them that did it".

"That the United States immediately jumped to make allegations against Iran - without a shred of factual or circumstantial evidence - only makes it abundantly clear that the #B_Team [which refers to USA national security advisor John Bolton, Israeli president Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu, Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed] is moving to a #PlanB: Sabotage diplomacy", he added, accusing them of conducted "economic terrorism" against Iran.

"I think the US military's claim is incorrect." he said, looking confused.

On Saturday, the Kokuka Courageous arrived off the coast of Fujairah in the UAE. "There is zero possibility that they were torpedoes", he added. He accuses Iran of lashing out because it wants the Trump administration's crippling economic sanctions lifted. "They've been told in very strong terms", Trump said. I'm ready when they are. "I'm in no rush". And he called it "ironic" that the U.S., which withdrew from the nuclear deal with Iran, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, is now calling Iran to come back for negotiations and diplomacy.

"Nobody wants to see war in the gulf, " he said.

Saudi Arabia said early Friday its military had intercepted five drones launched by Yemen's Houthi rebels targeting the kingdom, including the Abha regional airport.

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The Saudis said 26 people were injured in a Houthi strike on the same airport on Wednesday. "This is the same man by the way who refused to condemn Putin after the Salisbury Novichok attacks", he said.

Thursday's blasts followed a similar attacks a month earlier on four tankers, which Washington also blamed on Tehran.

The footage, officials say, shows Iran's Revolutionary Guard pulling alongside a targeted ship to remove evidence after the attack - an unexploded limpet mine attached to the ship's hull by a magnet.

"We haven't named the state, but we hope that we can further work with our friends and partners in preventing such escalations from moving forward", he added.

U.S. Central Command released a time line of the incident along with video and photographs showing a boat alongside the hull of a larger vessel with a hole in its side. "We also reiterate our commitment to the freedom of navigation, which must absolutely be preserved".

"We strongly condemn the attacks no matter who is behind them", the ministry said in a statement.

"This is deeply worrying and comes at a time of already huge tension". US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for the incident, citing intelligence assessments, the weapons used, the level of expertise required and the similarity to other recent attacks.

Initial findings from an global investigation of the attack last month concluded that a "state actor" was the most likely culprit.

The owner of a Japanese tanker attacked in the Gulf of Oman offered a different account Friday of the nature of the attack than that provided by the United States.

  • Sonia Alvarado