The Business Report
TEHRAN: Iran’s defence minister “categorically rejected” Wednesday accusations that Tehran was behind two tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman, describing evidence presented by Washington as “unsubstantiated”, official news agency IRNA reported. Washington has blamed Iran for last week’s attacks, releasing images and a grainy video it alleges shows Iranians on a patrol boat removing an unexploded limpet mine attached to one of the tankers.
“Accusations levelled against Iran’s armed forces and the published film with regards to the incident (that) happened to the vessels … are unsubstantiated and we categorically reject these accusations,” IRNA quoted Defence Minister Brigadier-General Amir Hatami as saying. “The armed forces and the port organisation were among the first to approach the tankers after the incident for relief operations and they rescued 23 people in the first tanker,” he added.
Hatami did not explicitly specify which of the two ships he was referring to, but Iran’s English-language Press TV at the time broadcast footage of 23 sailors rescued from the Front Altair, a tanker owned by a Norwegian listed company.