The US has released video that purportedly shows Iranian Revolutionary Guard attackers removing an unexploded mine from the side of a tanker in the Gulf of Oman.

The fuzzy black and white video shows a boat alongside the Japanese Tanker Kokuka Courageous which, along with Norway's Front Altair were allegedly attacked on Thursday.  Explosions tore holes in the hulls of each vessel, and forced the crews of each to abandon ship.  

"The US and the international community stand ready to defend our interests, including the freedom of navigation," said US Navy Captain Bill Urban.  "The United States has no interest in engaging in a new conflict in the Middle East. However, we will defend our interests," he added.

Tehran says it "categorically rejects" the US accusations that Iran is behind the attacks on tankers from Japan and Norway.  Iran released its own video earlier, showing one of its patrol boats fighting a fire on one of the tankers.

The attacks on Thursday sent the price of oil jumping up 4 percent.