Israeli intelligence assessments also confirm Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps carried out last week’s attacks; US to address UN Security Council; Pompeo calls for “all nations threatened by Iran’s provocative acts to join us…”
Israel accused Iran of attacking two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week, citing its intelligence assessments over the weekend. Israel, the United States, Saudi Arabia, and the UK have all reported intelligence that Iran carried out the attacks last Thursday.
Israeli intelligence officials, like both the UK and United States’ assessments, claims the attack was carried out directly by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps through the use of torpedos and mines, similar to its use of mines from the Tanker War in the 1980s. During the conflict, Iranian mines were used to attack US Navy ships with the Islamic Republic attacking over 160 ships.
Most recent reports claim that Iran fired a surface-to-air missile at an American MQ-9 UVA (drone) just before Thursday’s attacks. Iran is also believed to have ordered the attack on a US reaper drone a few days prior after Houthi Rebels targeted the aircraft near the Red Sea.
In a press briefing, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo officially blamed Iran of a “series of attacks,” citing US intelligence directly on the attacks on the oil tankers, stating, “based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication.”
Pompeo listed the most recent Iranian attacks since May of this year, referring to last month’s attack on four commercials in the Strait Of Hormuz last month, a rocket fired at the US Embassy in Baghdad and a car bomb in Afghanistan. He claimed that attacks “present a clear threat to international peace and security, a blatant assault on the freedom of navigation, and an unacceptable campaign of escalating tension by Iran.”
He reported that he instructed UN Ambassador Jonathan Cohen to raise Iran’s attacks at the UN Security Council this week, warning Iran that the United States will continue to “defend its forces, interests, and stand with our partners and allies to safeguard global commerce and regional stability,” and calling on “all nations threatened by Iran’s provocative acts to join us in that endeavor.”
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman warned that while the Kingdom does not seek war, it will not hesitate to respond or prevent attacks. He stated on the weekend, “We do not want a war in the region… But we won’t hesitate to deal with any threat to our people, our sovereignty, our territorial integrity, and our vital interests.”