Iranian Lawmaker Blames 'Israeli Mischief' for Tanker Attacks Off UAE Coast

Saudi Arabia said on Monday that two of its oil tankers were among those attacked off the coast of the Emirates

In this May 30, 2012, file photo, fishermen cross the sea waters off Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, near the Strait of Hormuz
AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili, File

The tanker attacks off the coast of the United Arab Emirates were "Israeli mischief," an Iranian parliamentary spokesman said on Tuesday, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

"The events that took place in the Emirates were Israeli mischief," Behrouz Nemati said, without providing any details on what role Israel may have played in the attacks.

Iran is a leading candidate for having carried out attacks on four tankers near the United Arab Emirates but the United States does not have conclusive proof Tehran was behind them, a U.S. official familiar with American intelligence said on Monday.

"This is what Iran does ... The sort of thing you could see Iran doing ... It fits their M.O. (modus operandi)," said the official on condition of anonymity, saying the most obvious explanation for Iran's statements distancing itself from the incident was that Tehran was "trying to muddy the waters."

Saudi Arabia said on Monday that two of its oil tankers were among those attacked off the coast of the Emirates and described it as an attempt to undermine the security of crude supplies amid tensions between the United States and Iran.

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The UAE said on Sunday that four commercial vessels were sabotaged near Fujairah emirate, one of the world's largest bunkering hubs lying just outside the Strait of Hormuz. It did not describe the nature of the attack or say who was behind it.