Trump: Iran a 'nation of terror,' was behind tanker attacks
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.
Calling Iran "a nation of terror," President Donald Trump confirmed the assessment of his top advisers and publicly accused the Persian Gulf nation of responsibility for recent attacks on oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz.
Trump said on Friday that Iran's culpability was "exposed" by the United States. While calling into Fox News Channel's "Fox & Friends," he said of the Thursday attacks, "Iran did do it."
While Iran has denied being involved in the attacks, U.S. Central Command released footage it said shows Iran's Revolutionary Guard removing an unexploded limpet mine from the Japanese-owned tanker Kokuka Courageous.
Trump did not preview any potential U.S. response to the attack, saying the U.S. has been "very tough on sanctions." He added: "They've been told in very strong terms we want to get them back to the table."
The tanker attacks coincided with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to Iran. Abe, a Trump ally, had taken a similar message encouraging a return to negotiations on his visit to Tehran.
U.S. officials said on Thursday that the Trump administration was considering a return to providing naval escorts to vessels transiting through the maritime choke point. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a prominent ally of the Republican president, called on the U.S. to begin the escorts immediately in an interview with "Fox & Friends" earlier on Friday.
Trump dismissed the danger of Iran making good on previous threats to close the Hormuz Strait, a major choke point for world oil shipments.
"They're not going to be closing it. It's not going to be closed, it's not going to be closed for long and they know it. They've been told in very strong terms," Trump said on Fox News television.
He was speaking after mysterious explosions on two oil tankers were blamed by the US government on Iran.