U.S. assessment blames Iran for Saudi tankers attack

Saudi Says Two of Its Oil Tankers ‘Sabotaged,’ Iran Seeks Clarification

Saudi oil tankers ‘sabotaged’ as U.S.-Iran tensions increase

The assessment, while not conclusive, was the first suggestion by any nation that Iran was responsible and comes after a series of USA warnings against aggression by Tehran or its allies and proxies against military or commercial vessels in the region, reports Efe news.

"Would I do that? Absolutely", Trump then added.

"The one thing can I tell with you about my work with the Department of Defense is that they plan for all sorts of scenarios".

The assaults came days after an Israeli television report said Israel had warned the U.S. that Iran was considering targeting Saudi oil production facilities. Official sources here said the visit of Iranian foreign minister took place at his own initiative to brief the Indian side on the Iranian approach to the recent developments in the region, including on JCPOA, and to review bilateral cooperation.

An initial USA assessment has indicated that Iran was likely to be behind the attack on two Saudi Arabian oil tankers and two other vessels damaged over the weekend off the coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), an American official said. It is unclear however, whether USA president Donald Trump would send so many American troops back to the Middle East, the NYT noted.

Since then, Iranian political and military leaders have repeatedly threatened to target USA military assets in the region if Washington sought to prevent Tehran from exporting its crude oil. "And if we did that, we'd send a hell of a lot more troops than that", Trump told reporters at the White House.

"Israel and all the countries of the region and all the countries who seek peace in the world should stand together with the United States against Iranian aggression", Netanyahu said at a ceremony to mark one year since the opening of the United States embassy in Jerusalem.

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No UAE or Saudi official has pointed the finger at Iran.

On Sunday, the United Arab Emirates said four commercial ships off the coast of Fujairah, one of the world's largest bunkering hubs, "were subjected to sabotage operations".

Meanwhile, the U.S. has deployed a Carrier Strike Group, a Patriot anti-missile battery, at least four B-52s and an amphibious transport dock to the region. Tehran, meanwhile, indicated that it would leave the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that was agreed upon during the second tenure of U.S. President Barack Obama.

Washington also has accused Iran of being the main destabilizing force in the Middle East, backing proxy forces in Syria and Yemen that the US opposes.

But even as all the hardware and people line up across the region, there are indicators that neither side wants this to get out of hand.

Yemen's Houthi rebels said they launched seven drones against vital installations in Saudi Arabia, which borders Yemen to the north. Saudi Arabia has been at war with the Houthis and their allies in Yemen since March 2015, targeting the Iranian-allied rebels with near daily airstrikes. The ministry' spokesman, Abbas Mousavi, was quoted by the official IRNA news agency as saying there should be more information about the incident.

The president appears to want to see a renegotiation of the nuclear deal.

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