U.S. Says Info Shows Iran Attacked Ships Bound For Japan

Signs of the Last Days® MinistryNews

U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo told reporters in a news conference at the State Department that information shows Iran is responsible for the attack on the two oil tanker ships in the Persian Gulf.

Pompeo said it was the assessment of the U.S. that Iran was responsible for the attacks based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no other proxy group in the area could have done it.

The Japanese tanker ship Courageous was first to issue a distress call, and its crew of 21 mariners abandoned ship. At the time of the attack, the ship had been transiting through the Gulf of Oman in international waters, close to Iran.

A nearby Dutch tug picked up the mariners and then transferred them to the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Bainbridge that had been in the vicinity and also responded to the distress call, according to an official. The crew of the Bainbridge spotted an unexploded mine attached to the side of the Courageous. Evidently similar to those in explosive sabotage attacks using mines in mid-May against four other commercial vessels off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.

About 45 minutes later distress calls were received from the Norwegian tanker Front Altair, a commercial ship bound for Japan. The 23 mariners aboard also abandoned ship.

A Seoul-based ship the Hyundai Dubai rescued the 23 mariners and then turned them over to an Iranian boat. Those mariners are still held by Iran, and its not clear if they are possibly held as hostages.

CBS reported Reuters has also quoted a senior official of Taiwanese state oil refiner CPC Corp as saying the Altair, a tanker chartered to carry fuel from the Middle East, was apparently hit by a torpedo.

ABC reported both ships were bound for Japan when they were attacked, the Altair was carrying a cargo of naptha, a flammable hydrocarbon, and the Courageous was carrying a cargo of methanol.

A U.S. defense official also told CBS News that the U.S. has video of a small boat coming alongside one of the tankers that was attacked and removing an unexploded “limpet” mine — a type of explosive that can be stuck manually to the side of a vessel. It is the same type of weapon U.S. officials say Iran used to attack four oil tankers a month ago.

A third of the world oil supply passes through the Strait of Hormuz at Iran which is the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf. The crude oil benchmark price spiked by as much as 4% in trading after the report of the attack highlighting how important this area is to global energy supplies.

The attacks come amid heightened tension between Washington and Tehran, and the timing was sensitive; it came as the Japanese leader Abe was visiting Iran to try and rekindle diplomacy to ease the Mideast standoff. Japan’s Trade Ministry said the two vessels struck were carrying “Japan-related cargo.”

The Biblical prophecies (Matthew 24, Luke 21) foretell that wars and rumors of wars in the Mid-East will be a sign of the Last Days indicating the coming end of the age and the nearing appearance of Jesus Christ.

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