Iranian ambassador accuses United States of 'psychological warfare'

Iranian ambassador accuses United States of 'psychological warfare'

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said May 13 that two of the targeted ships were Saudi oil tankers, one of them about to pick up a load for delivery to the United States.

Several Arab countries have condemned the attacks on two oil pumping stations in Saudi Arabia, with Egypt adding that coordination with the Kingdom was at the highest level to counter challenges and threats.

Saudi Aramco took precautionary measures and temporarily stopped operation of the pipeline, as it is evaluating the situation and working on restoring the operations of the affected pump station and the pipeline, according to the Saudi state news agency, SPA.

The United Arab Emirates reported on Sunday that four commercial vessels including two Saudi oil tankers had been sabotaged offshore from the UAE emirate of Fujairah just outside the Strait of Hormuz.

The incident comes after the United States announced it was sending an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf due to alleged threats from Iran. Gen. Amos Yadlin, head of the independent Israeli Institute for Strategic Studies (INSS), former military attaché to the U.S., and head of the IDF's intelligence directorate, said neither the Iranians nor the United States want a war but "things can easily get out of control, as it happens very frequently between Israel and the Hamas in Gaza".

Mr. Trump denied the Times' reporting on Tuesday morning, calling the paper "fake news".

Tensions have risen since US President Donald Trump withdrew America from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, and restored US sanctions that have pushed Iran's economy into crisis. Nemati gave no other details concerning the attack.

On Tuesday, Spain temporarily pulled one of its frigates that was part of a US -led combat fleet from near the Persian Gulf because of the mounting tensions.


Earlier, Mr Zarif had blamed the US for the current tensions.in the Gulf.

"God willing we will pass this hard period with glory and our heads held high, and defeat the enemy", Hassan Rouhani said at a meeting with Sunni clerics.

"We are very anxious about the risk of a conflict happening by accident, with an escalation that is unintended really on either side but ends with some kind of conflict", British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt told reporters in Brussels.

That's the current state of play between the US, Iran, Israel, Saudi Arabia and her regional allies.

Hours after the incidents, Abbas Mousavi, spokesman for Iran's foreign ministry, said they were "alarming and regrettable".

Separately, John Abizaid, US ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said Washington should take "reasonable responses short of war" after determining who was responsible for the damage to the ships.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards, designated a terrorist organization by Washington, threatened last month to close the Hormuz chokepoint if Tehran was barred from using it. Coalition officials have recently displayed a series of drones they claim show a growing sophistication of the Houthis, starting first with plastic foam models that could be built by a hobby kit, to one captured in April that closely resembled an Iranian-made drone.

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