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‘Naval Mines’: John Bolton Blames Iran For Incident With Oil Tankers Off UAE

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'Naval Mines': John Bolton Blames Iran For Incident With Oil Tankers Off UAE

US National Security Adviser and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, circa November 2018. Click to see full-size image

US National Security Adviser John Bolton arrived in the United Arab Emirates capital Abu Dhabi and immediately accused Iran of three separate things, on May 28th.

Most notably, without providing any evidence and claiming that none is needed anyway, he said that Iran was responsible for the damages to the four tankers off the coast of the UAE on May 12th.

He claimed that the attacks were the work of “naval mines almost certainly from Iran.”

“It’s clear that Iran is behind the Fujairah attack. Who else would you think would be doing it? Someone from Nepal?” he told journalists at a US embassy briefing.

“There is no doubt in anybody’s minds in Washington, we know who did this and it’s important Iran knows we know,” he added.

Iran maintains that it played no part in the attacks and said that it was a false flag fabricated by the US.

Secondly, Bolton said that there was recently a failed attack on the Saudi oil port city of Yanbu. It is he final point of Saudi Arabia’s east-west pipeline, which was recently targeted by Yemen’s Houthi rebels in a coordinated drone attack.

Bolton said he suspected Iran was behind the failed attack, again not providing any substantiation.

Finally, Bolton said there was no other reason for Iran to “breach the terms” of the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal other than wanting to develop nuclear weapons.

“There’s no reason for them to do it unless it is to reduce the breakout time to nuclear weapons.”

He said that these alleged Iranian actions warranted a strong response from the US.

“The point is to make it very clear to Iran and its surrogates that these kinds of action risk a very strong response from the United States,” Bolton said.

He claimed that there was no discrepancy between his position and the US President Donald Trump’s.

“I am the national security adviser, not the national security decider,” he said.

The US National Security Adviser’s visit to the UAE, a traditional ally of the US, together with Saudi Arabia, comes just days after the US announced it would deploy 1,500 troops, together with various equipment to the Middle East to counter Iran’s alleged activities.

Around the same time Bolton arrived in the UAE, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araqchi is on a three-nation tour in the region. In a meeting with Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani in Doha, he said that there could be constructive interaction in the Middle East, rather than a stand-off.

“Neighboring countries can pave the way for building confidence and constructive interaction through mechanisms such as the establishment of a regional dialog forum in the Persian Gulf and the conclusion of a non-aggression treaty,” he said.

This followed a statement by Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, who on May 26th said that Iran had offered all countries in the Persian Gulf to sign a non-aggression agreement.

Araqchi further said full security will be established in the region if national security and economic interests of all countries are fulfilled.

Iran “has always played a role in securing the region, but the US and the Zionist regime (Israel) and the countries which follow in their footsteps must accept responsibility for the consequences of their provocations,” the senior Iranian diplomat added.

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