Iran 'almost certainly' behind ship attacks off UAE: Bolton
US National Security Advisor John Bolton said Wednesday (May 29th) Iran was "almost certainly" behind attacks on ships off the UAE earlier this month, AFP reported.
The four ships, including two Saudi tankers, were attacked by "naval mines almost certainly from Iran", Bolton told a press conference in Abu Dhabi.
US experts are part of a five-nation team that is investigating the May 12th attacks that damaged the four vessels in the Sea of Oman off the emirate of Fujairah.
"There is no doubt in anybody's mind in Washington who is responsible for this," he said.
Bolton said he would meet Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan as well as his UAE counterpart, Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to discuss relations and regional tensions.
"We remain concerned and as watchful as we can," he said. "We are responding and consulting more closely with our allies in the region to discuss what to do next."
Bolton said that additional US forces in the region were sent as a "deterrent" and that Washington's response will be prudent.
Tehran has called the attacks on the ships "alarming and regrettable", and warned of "adventurism" by foreign players to disrupt maritime security.
Fujairah, where the attacks took place, is a key oil export terminal on the Sea of Oman that spares tankers the need to enter the Gulf through the strategic Strait of Hormuz, which Iran has repeatedly threatened to close.
Almost a third of the world's oil supplies pass through the narrow strait between Iran and Oman which is the sole shipping lane into and out of the Gulf.