Oil tanker captain disputes part of US account of attack

The captain of one of the oil tankers attacked in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday disputed part of the United States' account of the attack on Friday.

“Our crew said that the ship was attacked by a flying object,” said Yutaka Katada, the president of ship operator Kokuka Sangyo.

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoDiplomat who raised Ukraine concerns to testify in Trump impeachment probe Overnight Defense: Trump weighs leaving some troops in Syria to 'secure the oil' | US has pulled 2,000 troops from Afghanistan | Pelosi leads delegation to Afghanistan, Jordan Mulvaney faces uncertain future after public gaffes MORE on Thursday blamed Iran for the attacks in the Gulf of Oman on the Kokuka Courageous and the Norwegian-owned MT Front Altair.

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The U.S. military released a video later Thursday that it says shows Iran's Revolutionary Guard removing a mine from a targeted oil tanker. 

Katada, citing accounts from the ship’s crew, said: “I do not think there was a time bomb or an object attached to the side of the ship," according to The New York Times.

Iran on Friday pushed back on U.S. claims about Tehran's role in the attacks, calling the accusation “the simplest and the most convenient way for Pompeo and other U.S. officials.”

The attack comes weeks after alleged sabotage attacks against four oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. The United States similarly blamed those attacks on Iran, pointing to limpet mines that officials said were Iranian.

Iran also denied involvement in those attacks.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he doesn't want NYT in the White House Veterans group backs lawsuits to halt Trump's use of military funding for border wall Schiff punches back after GOP censure resolution fails MORE's critics have accused the administration of escalating tension with Iran itself. In addition to withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, the administration has ramped up sanctions and designated the Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization.