In the escalating conflict with Iran, President Donald Trump sends around 1,000 more soldiers to the Middle East. The soldiers were sent to the region for “defense purposes”, said Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan on Monday (local time) in Washington. At the same time, Shanahan emphasized, “The United States does not seek a conflict with Iran.”
The United States blames Iran for attacking two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman last Thursday. Tehran rejects allegations.
Shanahan’s message said the recent attacks confirmed intelligence information about the hostile behavior of Iranian forces and their allied groups. With the dispatch of additional troops, American soldiers and national interests in the region should be protected.
Recently, suspected attacks on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman exacerbated tensions between the United States and Iran. The Japanese tanker “Kokuka Courageous” and the “Front Altair” from Norway had made emergency calls in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday after there had been explosions on both ships at the waterline. America’s President Trump assigned responsibility to Tehran.
Tensions between the United States and Iran have been increasing for months. By the end of May, the Americans had increased their forces in the Middle East by 1,500 troops because of the “continuing threat” of Iranian forces. Previously, the US military had relocated, inter alia, an aircraft carrier association and a bomber squadron in the region, which raised concerns about a military conflict.
The US Department of Defense published new photos on Thursday on the attacks on the two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, which are to prove the allegations against Iranian Revolutionary Guards. The images show, according to Pentagon data, among other things, the hole that a detention mine above the waterline in the hull of one of the oil tankers called “Kokuka Courageous” should have torn.
Another of the eleven new photos taken Monday shows, according to American representation residues of another unexploded detention mine, which have been removed after the attack by soldiers of the Revolutionary Guards from the hull to destroy evidence. On a photo taken from an American helicopter the speedboat with the soldiers who removed the mine can be seen.
On Thursday, the Central Command Centcom, which leads the American troops in the Middle East, had published a video that should show the removal of the Haftmine. The Pentagon once again blamed Iran for the attacks on Monday.
The American government blamed Iran for the attacks on the day of the attacks. In the EU, however, there is no complete support for the attitude of the United States.
The incidents occurred one month after alleged acts of sabotage against four ships off the coast of United Arab Emirates. In these cases too, the United States blamed Iran – and Tehran also rejected it at the time.
The tensions surrounding Trump’s unilaterally terminated nuclear deal with Iran in May 2018 also increased. The Iranian Atomic Energy Agency announced on Monday that the country would exceed the amount of enriched uranium set in the agreement by June. Tehran thus increased the pressure on Europeans to do more to implement the economic side of the nuclear deal.
The European Contracting States France, Germany, France and UK are trying to preserve the atomic agreements signed in 2015 after years of negotiations. In this context, Iran increased the pressure on Europeans and threatened to soon abandon the provisions of the agreement. America’s government then spoke of “nuclear blackmail” and called for more pressure on Iran.