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Israeli, Saudi Officials Accuse Iran of Attacks In the Gulf Of Oman


An oil tanker is on fire in the sea of Oman, June 13, 2019.

Israel has joined voices with the U.S. and Britain in accusing Iran of involvement in attacking two ships on June 13 in the Gulf of Oman.

Citing a senior Israeli official involved in Iran-related issues, Israel's Channel 13 news reported on Saturday, June 15 that Iran's Islamic Revolution Guard Corps carried out the attacks. They used mines and torpedoes, the report said.

Days before, the Israeli public broadcaster Kan had reported that Mossad, Israel's secret service, had passed on information to Washington linking Iran to the sabotage of four oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates last month.

An unnamed source told Kan the attacks were "a pretty good commando operation."

Reacting to Thursday attacks, U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday called the Islamic Republic "a nation of terror," insisting the attacks on tankers in the Gulf of Oman had "Iran written all over it."

Meanwhile, on Friday, CNN quoted a U.S. official as saying that Iranian forces in the Gulf of Oman fired a missile at a U.S. drone hours before the alleged attack. The drone had spotted Iranian boats approaching the tankers before the sabotage occurred. The surface-to-air missile launched at the drone missed its target and fell into the sea, the official said.

Tehran has denied any role in the incidents and called the accusations "ridiculous" and "dangerous."

At the same time, Saudi Arabia has urged a rapid response to secure energy supplies in the Gulf region in the wake of the most recent attack on shipping.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih also twitted on Saturday, "There must be a rapid and decisive response to the threat to energy supplies, market stability and consumer confidence after the attacks in the Gulf area."

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) also echoed Saudis concern on Saturday, calling world powers to help secure maritime traffic and energy supplies.

Furthermore, UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said at a summit in Bulgaria, "The international community must cooperate to secure international navigation and access to energy."

While, Russia, Qatar, and the United Nations have called for an international investigation into the attacks, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused Washington of "jumping to conclusions, without a shred of factual or circumstantial evidence."

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