U.S. Officials: 'Highly Likely' Iran Carried Out Tanker Attacks - NBC Connecticut
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U.S. Officials: 'Highly Likely' Iran Carried Out Tanker Attacks

The threat from Shia militias and proxies in Iraq remains high, the officials said, with one characterizing it as "unchanged" over the past few days



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    Jon Gambrell/AP
    An Emirati coast guard vessel passes an oil tanker off the coast of Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, Monday, May 13, 2019.

    A U.S. assessment determined it is "highly likely" that Iran was behind the attacks on four tankers last weekend, according to three U.S. officials familiar with the findings. The U.S. has evidence, including photos of the damage and forensics, tying Iran or its proxies to the Sunday attacks off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, one of the officials said.

    The four ships — two from Saudi Arabia and one each from the UAE and Norway — were struck with what is now believed to be explosive charges, the officials said and NBC News reported.

    The incident escalated tensions in the region at a time when the U.S. has ramped up its efforts to choke off Iran's oil exports. And in the days before the tanker attacks, the Trump administration announced that it was sending a carrier strike group and Air Force bombers to the Middle East.

    A separate U.S. intelligence assessment on Friday found that the recent movement of more U.S. military assets into the region was having an effect on Iranian posture and behavior, according to the three U.S. officials.

    US Says There’s a Crisis With Iran, EU Not Convinced

    [NATL BAY] US Says There’s a Crisis With Iran, EU Not Convinced

    The European Union’s foreign minister says she may not have time to meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over Iran.

    (Published Tuesday, May 14, 2019)