US official concedes that it’s ‘possible’ Iran behind Gulf attacks

US official concedes that it’s ‘possible’ Iran behind Gulf attacks

US official concedes that it’s ‘possible’ Iran behind Gulf attacks

/ Policy & Regulations / Wednesday, 22 May 2019 07:46

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has acknowledged that it is ‘quite possible’ Iran was responsible for the sabotage attacks that occurred in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Tensions have risen in the Middle East as a result of the incidents, but Pompeo cautioned that United States has yet to reach a definitive conclusion on who is responsible for the attacks.

Oil tankers were attacked off the coast of the United Arab Emirates in the Emirate of Fujairah, whilst drone strikes shutdown a major pipeline in Saudi Arabia.

Pompeo was speaking on US radio to conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt made he said it was likely Iran was behind the two attacks.

The US Secretary of State said, “Given all the regional conflicts that we have seen over the past decade and the shape of these attacks, it seems like it's quite possible that Iran was behind these. Most importantly, we will continue to take acts that protect American interests and that work to deter Iran from misbehavior in the region, which has the real risk of escalating the situation such that crude oil prices rise.”

Yemen’s Huthi rebels who are closely aligned to Iran are being hit hard by US-backed Saudi airstrikes which has caused a famine in the country. The organization claimed responsibility for the attack which temporarily forced the closure of a major east-west pipeline in the Kingdom.  

President Donald Trump added fuel to mounting tensions with a chilling tweet that threatened Iran.

The President tweeted, “If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran.” However, he quickly on downplayed the Iranian threat to US interests.

Pompeo is due later Tuesday to brief US lawmakers on Iran alongside acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and the top US military officer, General Joseph Dunford.

Some Republican allies of Trump have called for the United States to be ready with a major military response. Trump has surrounded himself with some hawkish advisors, despite his campaign promise of staying out of conflicts overseas and putting America first.

A number of leading Democrats have accused the White House of hyping the intelligence, saying that Iran's actions were predictable responses to the moves made by the US.

Tensions have risen sharply in recent months as the Trump administration has vowed to cut off all oil exports from Iran and designated the elite Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist group.

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