Iran strongly rejects ‘laughable’ Bolton ship attack accusation: FM

Iran strongly rejected an accusation by US National Security Advisor John Bolton Wednesday that it was “almost certainly” behind May 12 attacks on four ships off the United Arab Emirates.

“Making such laughable claims… is not strange” coming from the US, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Abbas Mousavi said in a statement on its official website.

“Mr Bolton and other warmongers and chaos seekers should know that the strategic patience, high vigilance and complete defensive readiness of the Islamic Republic of Iran… will prevent the fulfilment of their evil desires for chaos in the region,” Mousavi added.

Bolton made his accusation that the four ships were hit by “naval mines almost certainly from Iran” while in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi to discuss what he says is the threat fromTehran.

“There’s no doubt in anybody’s mind in Washington who’s responsible for this,” Bolton said in a clear reference to Iran.

The UAE has not yet blamed anyone for the sabotage of four vessels, including two Saudi tankers, near Fujairah emirate, a major bunkering hub just outside the Strait of Hormuz.

Riyadh has accused Tehran of ordering the drone strikes, which were claimed by Houthis who have been battling a Saudi-led coalition in Yemen in a four-year conflict seen as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Iran has denied involvement in either attack.

Bolton’s accusation comes amid a US military buildup in the Gulf and on the eve of emergency Arab and Gulf summits called by Iran’s regional rival Saudi Arabia to discuss thestandoff.