US National Security Adviser John Bolton says the ships sabotaged off the UAE coast “were navel mines almost certainly by Iran”.
“We take all of this very seriously,” he said. “These attacks were unfortunately consistent with the very serious threat information that we had been obtaining. It is one reason we increased our deterrent capability in the region.”
In statements made on Wednesday during his visit to the UAE, Bolton added that the US is very confident that they, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia are all on the same page about the priority and risk of an Iran with nuclear weapons.
Bolton also revealed the US’s concern about the Quds Force and Qassem Soleimani, whome he said is using proxy Shiite militias as an indirect way to attack US forces in Iraq.
“We will hold the Quds force responsible if we see attacks,” Bolton said.
Bolton had arrived in the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday ahead of talks scheduled for Wednesday.
“We are consulting more closely with our allies in the region to discuss what to do next this is one of the reasons I’m here,” Bolton said.
Tensions have risen between Iran and the United States after an attack this month on oil tankers in the Gulf. Washington blamed the attacks on Tehran, which denied the accusations.
Bolton stated on Wednesday that the point is to make it clear to Iran and it’s surrogates that these “kind of activities risk a very strong response from the Americans”.