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U.S. believes Iran encouraged tanker attacks -U.S. sources

Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on May 16, 2019 - Duration: 01:19s

U.S. believes Iran encouraged tanker attacks -U.S. sources

U.S. officials believe Iran encouraged Houthi militants or Iraq-based Shi'ite militias to carry out Sunday's attacks on four tankers near the Strait of Hormuz.

Vanessa Johnston reports.

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U.S. believes Iran encouraged tanker attacks -U.S. sources

In a development that seems to back up White House worries about Iran… U.S. intelligence officials on Wednesday told Reuters they now believe IRAN had actively ENCOURAGED two of its PROXIES to carry out this weekend's sabotage attacks on four tankers near the Strait of Hormuz… A source said the government believes Iran gave its quote "blessing" to bombing operations that hit two Saudi crude oil tankers, a UAE fuel barge….

And a Norwegian tanker just outside the Strait of Hormuz..

The U.S. believes Iran is actively courting militants such as Houthi rebels in war torn Yemen and Shi'ite militias in Iraq to carry out such ATTACKS… not merely dropping hints….

Citing credible threats against US forces..

The US has sent a US aircraft carrier group..

As well as 4 B-52 bombers to the region in recent days….

Dismissing any threat… Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif earlier this week accused "extremist individuals" in the U.S. government of pursuing dangerous policies.

Teheran has denied any involvement in the attacks..

And the source said the U.S. does not have evidence Iran played any direct operational role.

But the sources -- said they viewed the attacks as a serious provocation by Tehran…posing a significant threat to shipping…

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