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Iranian boat fired a missile at US drone before a tanker attack, US official says



The missile missed the drone and fell into the water, the official said.

Prior to taking the fire, the American MQ-9 drone observed Iranian vessels closing in on the tankers, the official added, though the source did not say whether the unmanned aircraft saw the boats conducting an actual attack

Still, it is the first claim that the US has information of the Iranian movements before the attack

CNN has not seen any images from the US drones

Iran has strenuously denied any involvement in the attack. the official also said in the days before the attack, and the US reaper drone was shot down in the Red Sea by what is believed to be an Iranian missile fired by Houthi rebels.

The Pentagon had tough words for Iran on Friday as the US continues to assert its claim that Tehran was responsible for the attack on the two oil tankers in international waters after releasing video footage says Iranian patrol boat removing an unexploded mine "We are making sure that General McKenzie and the central command have the resources and support they need to conduct their missions," acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said, adding that US continues to work on building an international consensus that Iran was behind the attack.

The United Kingdom released a statement Friday saying it is "almost certain" that a branch of the Iranian military ̵
1; the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC ) – attacked by two tankers.

 With Iran, sometimes the logical explanation is the correct one </p>
<div class=
 With Iran, sometimes the logical explanation is the correct one

The Iranian military is an elite wing of the Iranian military that was established in the aftermath of the country Revolution in 1979. In April 2019, the US officially designated it as a foreign terrorist organization, a move that was rejected by the authorities in Tehran

No other state or non-state actor "could plausibly have been responsible," the statement added.

But Iran does not seem to be backing off and continues to engage in provocative behavior, according to a US official who told CNN on Friday that Iranian small boats are preventing tug boats from towing one of the damaged tankers.

President Donald Trump seems convinced that Tehran was responsible. [196590021] "In the video, a smaller boat is," he said, appearing to refer to the images and video released by the Pentagon late Thursday. shown to the side of the Japanese-owned tanker. An individual standing on the bow of a boat and can be seen removing an object from the tanker's hull.

A senior diplomatic source of a US ally told CNN Friday, "It is a virtual certainty that Iran was behind this latest attack. source added that the goal of the response from the US government so far is all about publicly exposing Iranian actions and intensifying the maximum pressure

After the United States withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, it adopted a policy of maximum economic pressure and sent and carrier group to the region, the source said this "Iranian retaliation is designed to show they can disturb and push oil prices up."

The Trump administration predicted that pressure from the United States would bring Iran to the negotiating table , but European leaders disagreed, believing it would empower the hardliners, the source continued.

Iran denies involvement

Iran has denied any involvement in the incident, with its foreign minis

The attack could provide more fodder for Iranian hawks within the US administration, whose recent Iran saber-rattling has frustrated Trump. One of them, national security advisor John Bolton, announced last month that the Pentagon was deploying the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the Middle East in response to a "number of troublesome and escalatory indications and warnings" .

The two tankers – one carrying oil and the other transporting chemicals – were attacked near the strategically important Strait of Hormuz, a vital shipping route that has been the focal point of regional tensions for decades. (19659002) Jonathan Cohen, acting US Ambassador to the United Nations, said Thursday that he echoed Pompeo's comments in and a private meeting of the UN Security Council, describing the attack as "another example of Iran's destabilizing activities in the region."

The Iranian mission to the UN rejected the US claim

Alireza Miryousefi, a spokesman for the Iranian mission, tweeted and statement saying Iran "categorically rejects the US's unfounded claim" that Iran is behind the attacks and "condemns it in the strongest possible terms."

He added that Iran "expresses concern" over "suspicious incidents. " And he called it "ironic" that the US, which has withdrawn from the nuclear deal with Iran, is now calling Iran to come back for negotiations and diplomacy


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