US Releases New Tanker Pics as Allies Seek ‘Concrete Evidence’ of Iran’s Guilt

Navy official says photos prove intent wasn't to sink tankers

There is a mounting credibility gap between the Trump Administration’s claims Iran was behind Thursday’s Gulf of Oman tanker attacks, and the evidence offered, which up until Monday was a single, grainy black-and-white video.

Germany and Japan have both rejected the US version of events, saying they need to be offered more proof to be convinced. It doesn’t seem like that was something officials were immediately prepared for, but on Monday, the military offered some new photographs related to the incident.

The images don’t really show a lot, though one image showed damage to the Kokuka Courageous, with one US Navy official saying it proved that the intent was never to sink the tankers.

“Generally to get water intrusion you want to blow a hole below the waterline,” the official said. The holes shown are well above the waterline, which is actually the source of a lot of doubts of the US claim that these were limpet mine attacks.

Limpet mines float, and attach to the underside of a ship to explode, causing holes below the waterline. That all the holes were above that line, some of them substantially so, suggests these couldn’t have been limpet mines. The Japanese crew, aboard the Kokuka Courageous, claimed their ship was hit by a projectile, not a mine.

This could end up being a problem for the new images, as instead of answering questions it may just add to them.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of