“This administration is itching for a fight with Iran,” The Washington Poston Saturday quoted Kugelman as saying. “Unfortunately, that sometimes entails making some accusations against Iran that are somewhat questionable.”
This comes after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly blamed Iran for a bombing attack on US forces on May 31st in Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul that had already been claimed by the Taliban militant group.
Two weeks after the attack and amid Washington’s growing enmity against Tehran, Pompeo referred to the Kabul bombing as an example of one “in a series of attacks instigated by the Islamic Republic of Iran and its surrogates against American and allied interests,” The Post reported.
“If there was clearly a belief that Iran had hit troops in Afghanistan, it would have been huge news right away,” said Kugelman pictured below.
In the incident that took place in eastern Kabul, a bomber detonated his explosives near a US convoy, killing four Afghan passersby and slightly wounding four American servicemen and at least three civilians.
At the time, the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, with spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claiming in a phone interview that 10 US troops were killed.
The State Department has declined to comment when it was asked to clarify the allegation Pompeo made while speaking to reporters on Thursday.
Tensions between Tehran and Washington escalated this week after the US had accused Iran of being responsible for the recent attacks on two oil tankers in the Sea of Oman.
The attacks on the Marshal Islands-flagged Front Altair and the Panama-flagged Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous sent shock waves through the world which was awaiting the news of a meetingbetween Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei in Tehran.
Pompeo said immediately, “It is the assessment of the United States government that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks that occurred in the Gulf of Oman today.”
Russia and China, however, warned against reaching hasty conclusions, arguing that a thorough investigation should be carried out into the incident.