Iran Blames Mossad for 'Fabricating Intelligence' on Its Role in Tanker Attack
The United States has publicly accused Iran of orchestrating the reported attack, despite the fact that an international investigation into the incident has so far not come up with any conclusions. A recent report in Israel suggests that Washington received a tip-off from Mossad.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif has blamed Israeli secret services for making up false intelligence data suggesting that Tehran was behind a recent attack on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.
"The B-Team's boy who cries wolf is crying once again: this time Mossad is fabricating intelligence about Iran's involvement in sabotage in Fujairah", Zarif tweeted on Wednesday, with "B-Team" referring to US National Security Adviser John Bolton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Saudi Crown Prince bin Salman.
"I've warned of 'accidents' and false flags − we know what happens when you believe their lies. We've been here before, haven't we?" Iran's top diplomat added.
His rebuke comes after an Israeli broadcaster reported that Mossad − Israel's intelligence agency − had given the US data that prompted Washington to blame Iran for orchestrating the attack.
The US is set to present the information at a meeting of the UN Security Council in the coming days.
Saudi Arabia announced on 13 May that two Saudi, one Norwegian, and one UAE oil tanker were damaged in an apparent "act of sabotage" off the UAE coast in the Gulf of Oman, east of the emirate of Fujairah.
Later that day, reports emerged that US officials believed Iran or its proxies to be behind the alleged attack.
While Iran has denied any involvement and a UAE-led international probe is still underway, neither the Emiratis nor Saudis have accused Iran of being responsible so far.
This did not stop John Bolton from claiming last week, without providing any evidence, that the tankers were damaged by "naval mines almost certainly from Iran" − an accusation Tehran called "laughable".
He went on to warn Iran and its proxy groups that such actions "risk a very strong response from the Americans".
Iran-US relations reached a new low last month after the Pentagon began building up its military presence in the Middle East, citing a yet-unspecified threat from the Islamic Republic and Iran-backed proxy groups.
Tehran responded by scaling back some of its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal.
The Trump administration has been subjecting Iran to increasing pressure, withdrawing last year from the landmark accord and re-instating tough economic sanctions against the oil-rich country.
Donald Trump has accused Iran of secretly pursuing nuclear weapons development in circumvention of the deal, as well as sponsoring terrorism; he stated the sanctions were meant to pressure Iran into signing a new agreement.
Incidentally, the US' withdrawal from the agreement came nearly a week after Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump's ally and prime minister of Israel, gave a dramatic presentation where he unveiled what he said were documents proving that "Iran lied" about its nuclear ambitions.
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