The United Arab Emirates suspect a “state player” behind the sabotage of four oil tankers off their coast on 12 May. There is “strong evidence” that it was a “complex and coordinated operation”, according to a joint statement from the Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Norway, under whose flags the tankers were under attack. Previously, on Thursday the UN Security Council first investigation results have been presented.
The statement calls it “highly likely” that the four ships were attacked with detention mines. According to this, divers were dropped from speedboats, they had the mines mounted so that the ships were damaged but not sunk and there was no big explosion. The saboteurs obviously had a good knowledge of the design of the tankers.
The attack is a threat to international merchant shipping and the global energy supply and also endangers peace and security, the statement said. No direct accusation was made, but Iran is suspected of being behind the operation. The Saudi Ambassador to the United Nations told Reuters that the Kingdom believed that “responsibility for this action is on Iran’s shoulders.” Both Saudi Arabia and the Emirates never tire of emphasizing that Iran poses a threat to the security of the region and the world.
The Iranian leadership denied being behind the incident and accused Washington of conducting psychological warfare. The American National Security Advisor, John Bolton, had previously said, “Marines almost certainly from Iran” would have caused the damage to the ships. The attack had fallen into a period of rising tensions between Iran on one side and the United States and its Arab allies on the other side. There is still concern that the conflict could lead to a military confrontation. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas wants to “campaign for prudence and de-escalation” on a journey that leads him to Pentecost, including to Abu Dhabi and Tehran.
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