Washington, May 22: United States President Donald Trump administration has on Tuesday said it was “quite possible” that Iran was behind the sabotage of Persian Gulf oil interests, but, stated vigorous response had helped to stop potential attacks on Americans.
According to Dawn news reports, top US officials appeared to be toning down after weeks of warnings to Tehran before delivering a briefing to the US Congress, where Democrats have accused administration of promoting intelligence and pushing the US dangerously close to war.
US secretary of state Mike Pompeo has said Washington had made no “definitive conclusion” that could be presented publicly on sabotage incidents of Saudi Arabian oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), even drone attack over crude oil shipments and pipelines in Saudi Arabia.
Before heading to the US Congress, Pompeo told conservative radio hosted by Hugh Hewitt: “But given all the regional conflicts that we have seen over the past decade and the shape of these attacks, it seems like it’s quite possible that Iran was behind these.”
“Most importantly, we will continue to take acts that protect American interests and that work to deter Iran from misbehavior in the region, which has the real risk of escalating the situation such that crude oil prices rise,” he said.
Acting US defence chief Patrick Shanahan has said the US response to Iran had made an important impact, but also warned of continued risks. “I think our steps were very prudent and we’ve put on hold the potential for attacks on Americans,” Shanahan told reporters.