Evidence points to Iran

Evidence is mounting that Iran is behind recent attacks on several tanker ships carrying petroleum products, meaning action by the world community — not just the United States — may be necessary.

Iran denies having anything to do with the attacks, but a video released by the U.S. military on Friday shows what is believed to be Iran’s Revolutionary Guard removing an unexploded limpet mine from one of the oil tankers targeted near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, suggesting Tehran wanted to hide evidence of its alleged involvement.

What is curious about Thursday’s events is that one of the attacked tankers was owned by a Japanese firm.

Just a day before the explosions, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was in Tehran, meeting with Iranian officials in an effort to defuse tensions between that country and the United States. Abe said he told Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei he believes U.S. President Donald Trump wants to de-escalate the situation.

After the attacks, Iranian officials pointed out it would have been strange for them to target a Japanese ship immediately after a diplomatic meeting involving that nation’s leader.

Indeed, Iranian leaders would be foolish to do anything that might alienate a nation with which they are attempting to maintain friendly relations.

But, students of history during the past few decades will recall that Iranian leaders sometimes behave in what many would term an irrational manner. Now they must bear the consequences.