UAE: Not enough evidence to blame Gulf tanker attacks on Iran

‘If other countries have clear information, I am sure the international community will easily listen to them,’ says Emirati foreign minister on Wednesday

The United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan said on Wednesday that no country could be held responsible for the latest attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf.

Speaking during a press conference with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow, Al-Nahyan said his country needs “clear and convincing evidence” regarding the recent attacks that targeted four vessels off the UAE coast last month, including two Saudi oil tankers.

Two Saudi oil tankers, a Norwegian tanker and an Emirati vessel were damaged in the attacks on the morning of 12 May near the Emirati port of Fujairah, a major oil terminal which lies on the Gulf of Oman, near the Straits of Hormuz.

US National Security Adviser John Bolton has said that attacks on oil tankers were the work of “naval mines almost certainly from Iran”.

Saudi Arabia has also blamed Iran, but Tehran repeatedly denied the accusations.

The UAE, however, has not blamed anyone for the attack, which was followed two days later by drone strikes on oil pumping stations in Saudi Arabia.

Riyadh accused Tehran of ordering the drone strikes, which were claimed by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi movement. Iran has denied involvement in either attack.

On Wednesday, Al-Nahyan said that his country is involved in discussions to form an international alliance for maritime security in the Gulf region.

“If other countries have clear information, I am sure the international community will easily listen to them,” he said today.

“But we need to be very serious and keen on verifying that.”

A report by diplomats from the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Norway earlier in June did not identify who was responsible for the attacks, which came amid a ratcheting of tensions in the Gulf between Iran and the United States.

The report, submitted to the UN Security Council on 6 June, concluded that the operation was the likely work of a state actor, but did not name any country.

Source: Middle East Eye