UAE refuses to accuse any nation of tanker attacks without ‘proof’ as US points finger at Iran

“We cannot accuse any nation at the moment because we don’t have indisputable proof,” Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE foreign minister said Wednesday during a joint media conference with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow.

If other nations have more concrete information, I am sure the international community will gladly hear them out. But we have to be very serious and careful. It has to be reliable, scientifically confirmed information which would convince the international community.

The Emirati diplomat was seemingly referring to the incident, which happened in its territorial waters in May. A preliminary investigation by the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Norway – the three nations whose tankers were damaged – said a state actor was likely behind it, judging by its sophistication. The group however would not accuse Iran of being the culprit in the case.

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Washington for its part did pin the blame on Iranian agents for being behind the incident, conveniently resorting to the ‘highly likely’ mantra. Other nations, including Russia, advised against jumping to conclusions, especially during the current highly-charged situation in the Middle East. The UAE minister reiterated this call for caution during the conference.

“The region is very turbulent and is very important for the world. We don’t want any escalation. What we want is stability and cooperation,” he said.

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A second incident involving oil tankers happened in the Gulf of Oman this month. The US again accused Iran of conducting the assault. 

This time it published footage, claiming it showed Iranian troops removing an unexploded magnetic mine from one of the tankers in the aftermath of the incident, saying it was indisputable proof of Tehran’s guilt. Iran brushed off the bold accusations, with one of the companies affected by the attack later releasing a statemement that also contradicted the US versions of events.

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