(May 21, 2019 / JNS) The United States blamed Iran for being behind attacks against four commercial vessels off the Emirati coast, a U.S. official told ABC News on Tuesday.
Two oil tankers owned by Saudi Arabia and two others—one owned by the United Arab Emirates and another by Norway—were sabotaged last week.
The accusation comes as U.S. Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo briefed members of Congress on Capitol Hill on Tuesday behind closed doors.
Shanahan told reporters outside the Pentagon on Tuesday that the Iranian threat is “on hold” due to additional American forces in the Gulf, including a carrier striker group and a Patriot missile battery.
“Our prudent response, I think, has given the Iranians time to recalculate,” he said before meetings with presidents of Micronesia, Palau and the Marshall Islands.
“That doesn’t mean that the threats that we’ve previously identified have gone away,” added Shanahan. “I think our response was a measure of our will and our resolve that we will protect our people and our interests in the region.”