News ID: 253491
Published: 0120 GMT May 29, 2019

Iran dismisses Bolton's 'ridiculous' claims on tanker attacks

Iran dismisses Bolton's 'ridiculous' claims on tanker attacks

Iran on Wednesday categorically rejected claims by US National Security Adviser John Bolton blaming the Islamic Republic for sabotage attacks on four commercial ships off the United Arab Emirates’ coast on May 12.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi responded to Bolton's allegations that the mysterious attacks on the oil tankers – an Emirati, a Norwegian and two Saudi vessels – had been caused by Iranian naval mines.

Mousavi said it was not surprising that such "ridiculous" comments were made at Bolton's meeting with another member of the so-called B-Team, namely Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The designation comes from earlier remarks by Iran's Foreign Minister Zarif who said that the “B-Team” — comprising Bolton, bin Zayed, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — were dragging US President Donald Trump into war with Iran.


"But, Mr. Bolton and other warmongers need to know that the strategic patience, high vigilance and full defense readiness of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which emanate from the strong resolve of its great nation, will not let them fulfill their ominous schemes to create chaos in the region," Mousavi noted.

Speaking at a press conference in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, Bolton alleged that the attacks had been caused by Iranian naval mines, without providing any evidence to substantiate his claim.

"There's no doubt in anybody's mind in Washington who's responsible for this," Bolton said in a clear reference to Iran.

"Not going to get into the specifics. That's something the ship owners and the countries involved will release at their discretion. But I think it's important for the leadership in Iran to know that we know," he said.


“I think it is clear these (tanker attacks) were naval mines almost certainly from Iran,” he said.

US experts are part of a five-nation team that is investigating the May 12 attacks that damaged the vessels in the Sea of Oman.

The UAE has not yet blamed anyone for the sabotage of four vessels.

The accusation follows a US military buildup in the Persian Gulf which Bolton said was a "deterrent." 

"We are trying to be prudent and responsible. We gathered evidence about the nature of attacks on the tankers … and sent additional forces to act as a deterrent."

Washington has reimposed tough sanctions against Tehran and ordered the deployment of 1,500 more troops to the Middle East.

Tehran called the attacks on the ships "alarming and regrettable", and warned of "adventurism" by foreign players to disrupt maritime security.

Fujairah is a key oil export terminal on the Sea of Oman that spares tankers the need to enter the Persian Gulf through the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

Almost a third of the world's oil supplies pass through the narrow strait between Iran and Oman which is the sole shipping route into and out of the Persian Gulf.

Regional tensions have spiked since US President Donald Trump reimposed sanctions against Iran after Washington unilaterally pulled out of a multilateral 2015 nuclear accord signed with the Islamic Republic.

The Trump administration has ordered non-essential diplomatic staff out of Iraq, citing threats from Iranian-backed Iraqi armed groups, and sent an aircraft carrier and heavy B-52 bombers to the region.

But Trump appeared to soften his hawkish stand toward Tehran, saying during a visit to Japan on Monday that his government does not seek "regime change."

Press TV, AFP and Reuters contributed to this story.




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