Sanctions

U.S. releases video claimed to depict Iran removing mine from targeted oil tanker

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U.S. Central Command released a statement and video on Thursday night of what the American military says depicts Iranians removing an unexploded mine from one of two targeted Japanese oil tankers attacked on Thursday in the Gulf of Oman, the Washington Post reports.

Details: U.S. military assets observed Iran's Revolutionary Guard, per Captain Bill Urban, the spokesman for U.S. Central Command, “...and recorded removing (an) unexploded limpet mine from the M/T Kokuka Courageous.”

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In Tehran, Shinzo Abe tries to play part of U.S.–Iran mediator

Shinzo Abe and Hassan Rouhani shaking hands
Hassan Rouhani and Shinzo Abe in Tehran. Photo: Presidency of Iran / Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe begins two days of meetings with Iranian officials in Tehran on Wednesday — seeking "a frank exchange of views" and following up on a proposal to mediate for the U.S. that President Trump cautiously welcomed in May.

Why it matters: Abe’s visit comes amid Iranian escalation — of both its regional operations and nuclear program — and intensifying U.S. economic pressure. As Iran seeks relief from American sanctions, Abe is likely banking on the U.S.–Japan alliance and his close relationship with Trump to protect Japan’s interests and boost its image.