Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi responded to Bolton’s allegations that the May 12 attacks on four oil tankers — an Emirati, a Norwegian and two Saudi vessels — had been caused by Iranian naval mines.
Mousavi said it was not surprising that such “ridiculous” comments were made at Bolton’s meeting with another member of the so-called B-Team, namely Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The designation comes from earlier remarks by Iran’s Foreign Minister Zarif who said that the “B-Team” — comprising Bolton, bin Zayed, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — were dragging US President Donald Trump into war with Iran.
“But, Mr. Bolton and other warmongers need to know that the strategic patience, high vigilance and full defense readiness of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which emanates from the strong resolve of its great nation, will not let them fulfill their ominous schemes to create chaos in the region,” Mousavi noted.
Speaking at a press conference in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, Bolton alleged that the May 12 incident had been caused by Iranian naval mines, without providing any evidence to substantiate his claim.
“I think it is clear these (tanker attacks) were naval mines almost certainly from Iran,” he claimed.
Initially after reports of the Fujairah explosions, the UAE denied there had been any incident, but later confirmed that four commercial vessels had been targeted by “sabotage operations,” without elaborating.
Bolton’s claims come while an investigation is still underway into the incident, with UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash saying days after the incident that Abu Dhabi would not speculate about who was behind the sabotage before the end of the probe.
Iran has slammed the attacks as “lamentable” and “worrying.”
Foreign Minister Zarif noted that he had already warned of such suspicious “accidents” because of Washington’s renewed warmongering policies promoted by Bolton and other US hawks.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Bolton said that the Fujairah incident was connected to retaliatory Yemeni drone strikes targeting pumping stations on Saudi Arabia’s East-West pipeline as well as a rocket attack on Baghdad’s Green Zone, which occurred within days in mid-May.
Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement — which has been defending Yemen against a Saudi-led war — has already said the drone raids were an act of self defense and had nothing to do with Iran.
Bolton also referred to “an unsuccessful attack” on Saudi Arabia’s port city of Yanbu’, a few days before the Fujairah incident.
He further claimed that the US was trying to be “prudent and responsible” in its approach toward the region and had sent additional forces there as a “deterrent.”
“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,” he said.
The Trump administration has imposed illegal sanctions on Iran and beefed up its military presence in the Persian Gulf, citing alleged and unspecified threats posed by the Islamic Republic to American troops and interests.
Tehran has said it will not be the initiator of any war, but reserves the right to self defense and will give a crushing response to any act of aggression.