The UN Security Council heard that the attacks on May 12 – in which four UAE vessels were also sabotaged – were most likely committed by a “state actor”. Despite not explicitly identifying Iran as the culprit, the US blamed Tehran last month. UAE foreign minister Anwar Gargash said the UN must now play its part in holding the perpetrators to account.
The UAE’s report noted that the attack was a “sophisticated and coordinated operation carried out by an actor with significant operational capacity”.
Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif prepared a response prior to the meeting, which also included Saudi Arabia, Norway and the UK.
He said: “The B-Team boys who cry wolf are crying once again.
“This time, Mossad is fabricating intelligence about Iran’s involvement in sabotage in Fujairah.
“I’ve warned of ‘accidents’ and false flags – we know what happens when you believe their lies. We’ve been here before, haven’t we?”
The news came as a top US general warned of Iran’s potential for aggression going forward – despite a relatively quiet few weeks.
Head of US central command General Frank MacKenzie said: “I don’t actually believe the threat has diminished – I believe the threat is very real.”
He said Washington’s threats caused the Iranians to back down – but only temporarily.
General MacKenzie also praised the US for establishing a deterrence without provoking the enemy.
He added: “We’ve taken steps to show the Iranians that we mean business in our ability to defend ourselves.”
Tensions heightened last month after the Gulf States were targeted with force.
In addition to the tanker attacks, a drone fired by the Houth militia group – who are allied with Iran – hit Saudi oil infrastructure.
And a rocket explosion near the US embassy in Baghdad prompted the US to step up its military presence in the region.
The US has been a longtime adversary of Iran, with the hostilities sparked by the 1979 revolution which deposed the Washington-backed Shah.
Iran has also locked horns with the Gulf States in recent years, with a series of proxy wars devastating the region.
The news came as President Trump labelled Iran “a failing nation” and hailed the impact of American sanctions in crippling their economy.
He said: “When I became president, Iran was a true state of terror. They still are and were undisputed champions of terror.
“They are failing as a nation, but I don’t want them to fail as a nation.
“We can turn that around very quickly but the sanctions have been extraordinary [in] how powerful they have been.”
US sanctions – which were increased last year after Washington withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal – aggressively target the crucial energy, shipping and shipbuilding sectors of the nation’s economy.