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14 May, 2019 12:59

Iran calls recent tanker attacks in UAE nothing but ‘Israeli mischief’

Iran calls recent tanker attacks in UAE nothing but ‘Israeli mischief’

The recent damage sustained to four commercial vessels off the UAE coast is nothing but Israeli meddling, an Iranian parliamentary spokesman said on Tuesday, as US-Iran tensions in the Persian Gulf continue to heat up.

“The events that took place in the emirates were Israeli mischief,” Behrouz Nemati said, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA). While Nemati didn’t expand on why he believed there was involvement by Tel Aviv, he said it was the conclusion reached by the Iranian government after much debate on the issue.

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On Sunday, two Saudi oil tankers, an Emirati barge and a Norwegian vessel, suffered damage after being targeted in waters near the emirate of Fujairah, in what the UAE’s Foreign Ministry called a series of “sabotage operations.” Both Saudi and UAE authorities have been tight-lipped about who they believe is the culprit behind the acts, however, and little information has been given about the extent of the damage incurred. Iran has called for a full probe into the incident, fearing“ill-wishers” want to disrupt regional security.

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The acts of “sabotage” come at a time of growing tensions between Iran and the US, and shortly after the US Maritime Administration warned that “Iran and/or its regional proxies” are looking to target US and allied interests in the region, including oil infrastructure. Washington has also been escalating its military presence in the Gulf, recently sending an aircraft carrier group and additional Patriot air defense systems as a “message” to Tehran.

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