Japanese Tanker Owner: Mike Pompeo Gives Incorrect Narrative Of Attack
On Thursday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he and other officials within the Trump administration had assessed video of two oil tankers that had apparently been attacked in the Gulf of Oman, and stating without question that the damage undertaken by these vessels was the work of Iran.
“It is the assessment of the United States government that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks that occurred in the Gulf of Oman today,” Pompeo said at the conference, according to a report from CNN.
Aspects of the assessment Pompeo gave, however, are being challenged, including by one of the tanker’s owners.
Yukaka Katada is the owner of the Kokuka Courageous, which was hit port side by a limpet mine in the Gulf of Oman, according to the U.S. assessment. But Katada said that’s wrong — his ship, he maintained, was hit starboard side, and not by a mine.
The attack didn’t even come from within the water, he said, but rather by a flying projectile.
“It seems that something flew towards them. That created the hole, is the report I’ve received,” Katada said.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has blamed Iran for a suspected attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.
He did not offer evidence Iran was responsible, pointing instead to intelligence, the weapons used and recent Iranian attacks on other targets. https://t.co/w4vlfYvQmm
— NPR (@NPR) June 13, 2019
Katada also asserted that the “impact was well above the water,” according to reporting from The Daily Beast. He did not have any opinion on who was responsible for the attack.
Some have openly questioned the speed at which Pompeo and the State Department came to their conclusions. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, for example, wanted to see more documented proof that the attack was definitively from Iran.
“Without presenting any evidence to back up the assertion, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo…pronounced that that attack on those tankers in the Gulf of Oman was definitely the work of Iran,” Maddow pointed out on her program Thursday evening.
She added, “He gave no evidence to back up this assertion…What’s the evidence here?”