The Latest: Probe finds ‘state actor’ led attack on tankers
BAGHDAD (AP) — The Latest on rising tensions between the U.S. and Iran (all times local):
International investigators believe last month’s attacks on oil tankers in a United Arab Emirates port were led by a foreign state using divers on speed boats who planted mines on the vessels.
They did not name Iran, which the U.S. has blamed for the attacks.
That’s what United Nations ambassadors from the Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Norway told a closed meeting with U.N. Security Council members on Thursday.
Four tankers from those countries were hit on May 12 off the Emirati coast.
U.S. national security adviser John Bolton has said Iran is responsible for the attacks. On Thursday, the Saudi ambassador to the U.N., Abdallah Al-Mouallimi (ab-DAH’-lah al-mooah-LEEH’-meeh), speaking only for his country, said Saudi Arabia also blames Iran for the sabotage.
Scientific and naval experts conducted the probe, analyzing tanker debris, radar data and the precisely placed explosive charges.
The top commander of U.S. forces in the Mideast says Iran appears to have decided to “step back and recalculate” in response to a U.S. military buildup in the Persian Gulf area.
Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie says it’s too early to conclude Iran has abandoned plans for potential attacks against American interests that prompted the buildup last month.
McKenzie told reporters Thursday that he is assessing Iran’s stance. He says he would not rule out requesting more forces to bolster American defenses.
McKenzie said Iran and its proxies posed what he called an “advanced and imminent” threat to U.S. forces when he asked on May 5 for authority to accelerate the deployment of an aircraft carrier and send four strategic bombers to the Gulf area.