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Tanker attacks false flag incident to further target Iran: Analyst

Rodney Shakespeare speaking to Press TV.

The recent attacks on two oil tankers near the Persian Gulf were “false-flag attacks” to further target Iran amid heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington.

“This was an obvious false-flag attack .... the signs are this is an attempt to blame Iran,” Rodney Shakespeare said in an interview with Press TV on Sunday.

Shakespeare ruled out accusations by the US government that Iranian frogmen had carried out the attack on the ships.

He said it was a normal procedure for frogmen hired by the main navies of the world to swim underwater with a limpet mine and to place it under the waterline of the ship.

“The putting of something high up on the side of a boat it looks to me very much like something perhaps carried out by the Israelis who want to create war or by the Saudis or by the Americans themselves.”

He said a frogman cannot place a limpet mine high up the side of a very big tanker because it would be physically impossible.

“So if there was a limpet mine on that boat it was placed by somebody in such a way as that the matter would be revealed. In other words, somebody was contriving an incident,” said Shakespeare, adding, “It was not done by Iranian frogmen and could have not be done by that.”

The expert said the crew in one of the two ships had seen something similar to a rifle grenade approaching the vessel.

He said rifle grenades may have been fired by fighters from Yemen who normally seek to inflict damage on Saudi Arabia and its interests because of its ongoing war on the Yemenis.

"If it was genuine at all, it would have been done by the Yemenis,” he said, adding, however, that such a possibility was very low because the attacks were very sophisticated.

Shakespeare also condemned Britain for blaming Iran for the attacks, saying it was just a gesture to please the US.

“I’m very sad to say that my country the UK is saying Oh! it must have been Iran simply because the Americans say so. Everybody knows the Americans can no longer be trusted in any respect at all. They break agreements and they lie their heads off,” he said.

Shakespeare said the Trump administration has a strong desire to create war in the Middle East, and is being encouraged by Saudi Arabia and Israel.

“Behind all this then are Israel, Saudi Arabia and America, helped by the UK, are moving towards war in the Persian Gulf,” he said.

He said a military conflict in the Persian Gulf would endanger the very existence of the unstable regimes in the region like Saudi Arabia while it would lead to a major disaster in the global economy.

“If they do remember this, the moment that all the oil flow stops, that can crash the global economy."

“All the regimes in the Middle East with the exception of Iran are unstable. They are autocracies. All of them are likely to be in great difficulty if some sort of major conflict breaks out in the Persian Gulf,” said Shakespeare.  

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