On May 12, four commercial ships were subjected to “sabotage operations” near UAE territorial waters.
The investigations behind the “sabotage attack” on four commercial cargo ships on UAE’s territorial waters will be concluded “in a few days”, the UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Anwar Gargash, has said in a press briefing.
He said that Iran’s behavior has been in the centre of regional issues, however, UAE will complete the investigations with its partners – the US and France – and will avoid making false judgement and accusations.
On May 12, four commercial ships were subjected to “sabotage operations” near UAE territorial waters in the Gulf of Oman, east of Fujairah. Saudi Arabia had announced that two of its oil tankers were also targets of the attack.
“I think the UAE is looking at the storms in the region and it is basically coming to do what it knows best – we are very committed to deescalation and stability,” Dr Gargash said. “It’s in these times that we need to exercise caution and exercise good judgement. It’s easy to throw accusations but I think it’s a very brutal and difficult situation and I think the necessity of what we want to see right now is that there are serious issues here – one of them is Iranian behavior, but we do need to exercise good judgement and caution.
“We are, with regards to the oil tanker issue, are working with our partners. We haven’t yet concluded our investigations. Clearly, I’m not going to jump the gun and say this and that. We have to conclude our investigation with our partners, amongst them who are our French and American partners. We are concluding within days so I don’t want to speculate to the famous question of ‘who did it’?”
He added that Iran has displayed a “doublespeak” to the international community, especially when it attempts to downplay its “real intentions”.
“I also have to say we are in this difficult regional situation to a large extent because of Iranian behavior. Iranian behavior is the centre of various regional issues. It’s this behavior that has led to the difficult situation and conditions we see. We’ve always acted with restraint. We are doing this investigation in a joint manner and we are awaiting a joint conclusion. On Iran, it doesn’t really help that Iran’s foreign minister is trying to offer a moderate voice to Iran’s attention. We’ve been there. We’ve been bullied by Iran. His words are very hollow in that sense. As the uae, we have the most to gain in the region from a responsible Iran. It is from our interest to have Iran depicted as a reasonable Iran, but the one we see isn’t a reasonable and a responsible one,” he said.
Once the investigations are concluded, the UAE will work with its partners in determining how the country will respond to the perpetuator behind the attacks.