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Owner of Downed Oil Tanker Disputes Pompeo’s Intelligence Report about Yesterday’s Gulf Attack

The war drums are beating heavily, and Trump’s foreign policy legacy is at stake.

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The Japanese man who owns the oil tanker Kokuka Courageous, which was struck in the Gulf of Oman yesterday, is disputing the official story from U.S. government officials about how his ship was attacked.

Kokuka Sangyo president Yutaka Katada said today that sailors aboard the vessel saw “flying objects” coming toward them just before it was struck. Meanwhile, the Trump administration is claiming that they have video showing Iranians extracting an unexploded limpet mine from the vessel that was struck.

The Kokuka Courageous was attacked two times yesterday, and the 21 crew members aboard the ship were forced to evacuate to safety afterward.

Katada believes the flying objects may have been bullets, and calls the assertion that the attack was caused by an Iranian mine to be “false” because the damage came from above the waterline of the vessel.

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Iranian officials deny being culpable for the attacks and are accusing the U.S. of starting an “Iranophobic campaign” to gin up support for a war.

While Iran’s chatter may sound like a conspiracy theory, influential thinktank officials in Washington D.C. such as Patrick Clawson of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy are openly lobbying for a provocative incident, such as a false flag, as an excuse to start war with Iran.

In an article published last month in Haaretz – Israel’s longest running newspaper – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s “Iran dilemma” was discussed.

It reads as follows:

Ever since Trump was elected president two and a half years ago, Netanyahu has been urging him to take a more aggressive line toward Iran…

Trump acceded to this urging a year ago when he withdrew America from the nuclear agreement with Iran. That was followed by tighter sanctions on Iran, as well as publication of a plan by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo detailing 12 steps Tehran must take to satisfy Washington.

But Israel isn’t interested in being part of the front. That is why Jerusalem has issued so few official statements on the Iranian issue, and why Netanyahu has urged ministers to be cautious in what they say.

Another Haaretz article published in May named Netanyahu as the “prime suspect” if a U.S. war is launched with Iran:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the only world leader to openly express support for the escalating U.S. campaign against Iran, but his statement is an exception to the general Israeli rule. In the two weeks that have passed since the U.S. announced it was reinforcing its military presence in the Persian Gulf, official Israel has mostly taken on a vow of silence. “Luckily, we are not involved,” naively optimistic defense officials briefed reporters.

The attempt to distance itself from an American military operation in the Middle East, as if Israel was merely a fan sitting in the bleachers cheering its favorite team, inevitably sparks analogies to Yitzhak Shamir’s policy of restraint in the 1991 Gulf War and Ariel Sharon’s similar attitude during the 2003 war in Iraq.

Netanyahu was a cheerleader for the U.S. War in Iraq, a military intervention that President Trump has called one of the worst blunders in history. He appeared before Congress to push the long-debunked weapons of mass destruction fabrication from the Bush administration.

With Secretary of State Mike Pompeo being a man who revels in his ability to lie to the American public and an infamous war hawk in John Bolton serving as national security advisor, Netanyahu may soon get his wish, and the U.S. may get another trillion-dollar boondoggle with a war against Iran.

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