Yutaka Katada, president of delivery firm Kokuka Sangyo Ltd. factors to an image of their tanker Kokuka Brave, one in every of two that have been hit in suspected assaults within the Gulf of Oman, throughout a information convention in Tokyo, Japan June 14, 2019.

Kyodo | Reuters

WASHINGTON — The Japanese proprietor of one of many oil tankers attacked close to Iran on Thursday mentioned the vessel was struck by a projectile and never by a mine, which is what U.S. officers assessed because the supply of the blast.

“We obtained reviews that one thing flew in direction of the ship,” Yutaka Katada, president of Kokuka Sangyo, mentioned at a press convention Friday. “I don’t assume there was a time bomb or an object hooked up to the aspect of the ship,” he mentioned, including {that a} projectile landed above the waterline.

On Thursday, U.S. Central Command said in a statement that the Japanese oil tanker, Kokuka Brave, had an “unexploded limpet mine on their hull following an preliminary explosion.”

The Pentagon didn’t instantly reply to CNBC’s request for remark.

President Donald Trump mentioned Friday that if Iran were to block the Strait of Hormuz, “it is not going to be closed for lengthy,” however didn’t elaborate on what potential steps the U.S. would soak up response. “They don’t seem to be going to be closing [the strait],” Trump reiterated throughout a phone interview on “Fox & Associates.”

Earlier this 12 months, Iran threatened to close the strait in response to a U.S. determination to finish waivers on reimposed sanctions for corporations that export oil from Iran. The Strait of Hormuz is the world’s most vital oil choke level. It is a gateway for nearly a 3rd of all seaborne crude oil.

America’s high diplomat, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, blamed Iran for Thursday’s attacks without citing specific evidence as to why Tehran was accountable.

“Iran is lashing out as a result of the regime needs our profitable most strain marketing campaign lifted,” Pompeo mentioned Thursday. “No financial sanctions entitle the Islamic Republic to assault harmless civilians, disrupt world oil markets and interact in nuclear blackmail.”

“The worldwide group condemns Iran’s assault on the liberty of navigation and the concentrating on of harmless civilians,” he mentioned, including that the U.S. will defend its forces, pursuits and companions.

WATCH: Pompeo says Iran responsible for tanker attacks

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