Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders came out swinging against Washington’s effort to pin blame on Iran for purported attacks on tanker ships in the Gulf of Oman, warning they are being used as a “pretext for war”.
“The Gulf of Oman incident must not be used as a pretext for war with Iran,” Sanders said on Friday, adding that an attack on Iran would not only be illegal, but “an unmitigated disaster for the United States, Iran, the region, and the world”, RT reported.
While it remains unclear what happened to the ships, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday declared that Iran had carried out the attacks on the two tanker vessels, but cited no evidence at the time. The UK followed suit the next day.
The US military on Friday released a blurry video clip which officials say proves that commandos of the Iranian Revolution Guards Corps had planted explosives on one of the ships, but the footage did not convince everyone.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who recently traveled to Tehran for a meeting with his Iranian counterpart, stated that the video was “not enough” to prove Iranian guilt.
Iran, for its part, denies any involvement in the so-called attacks, with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif noting the odd timing of the incident and accusing the US of moving to “Plan B: Sabotage diplomacy” in an attempt to “cover up its economic terrorism” against the Iranians.