Speaking to reporters during a visit to Norway, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has dismissed the US military’s video, saying it is not sufficient to prove Iran was behind attacks on tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday.
“The video is not enough. We can understand what is being shown, sure, but to make a final assessment, this is not enough for me,” Maas said. President Trump insisted earlier in his own comments to reporters that the video was enough and clearly proved Iran was behind the attack.
The video itself was release late Thursday night by US Central Command, and is quite problematic. It is grainy black and white footage of a boat, putatively Iranian, alongside a ship, putatively one of the tankers. The first few seconds show movement that might suggest an interaction of some sort, then the next minute and a half show nothing, but zoom in and zoom out in jarring ways.
All of this is meant to prove Iranian sailors removed an unexploded mine from the boat, though there would be multiple problems with that, as the holes in the ships were far above the water line, where a mine explosion would take place, and the boat in question in the video also seemed to be focused on a part of the ship too high out of the water to possibly be a floating mine.
With the Japanese ship’s crew describing the attack as caused by something flying at the ship in the air, not the water, the entire mine story is on shaky ground, and to the extent the US believes this video is demonstrative of the mine narrative, it too is very weak.