The attacks on oil tankers in the Persian Gulf earlier this month were caused by “naval mines almost certainly from Iran,” U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton said on Wednesday from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as the tension between the U.S. and Iran continues to escalate.
Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia said that two of its oil tankers were attacked by saboteurs near the UAE, while the UAE said that a total four vessels were attacked off its coast at the port of Fujairah, which is the world’s second-largest bunkering port.
Speaking to reporters in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, Bolton said, as carried by Reuters:
“I think it is clear these (tanker attacks) were naval mines almost certainly from Iran.”
“There is no doubt in anybody’s mind in Washington who is responsible for this and I think it’s important that the leadership in Iran know that we know,” the U.S. national security advisor said.
A few days ago, the Pentagon accused Iran’s Revolutionary Guard of sabotaging four vessels at the Fujairah port.
“The attack against the shipping in Fujairah, we attribute it to the IRGC,” Vice Adm. Michael Gilday, Director of the Joint Staff, said on a briefing on Iran on Friday.
Iran immediately rejected Bolton’s “absurd claim”, Iranian media report.
“It is not surprising to see Bolton make such a ludicrous claim in a meeting with two members of a team with a long track record of anti-Iran policies,” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said today, quoted by the Mehr news agency.
Iran is blaming what it calls a ‘B-team’—comprised of Bolton, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan—for plotting anti-Iranian “destructive policies.”
“[T]he strategic patience, high vigilance and full defensive readiness of the Islamic Republic of Iran” will prevent “Bolton and other warmongers and crisis-seekers” “from hatching their sinister plots to cause chaos in the region,” Iran says.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.