UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed has stated that the country wants oil exports to be safe and called on the international community to cooperate to ensure the protection of oil shipping from the Gulf of Oman, Arabiya TV reported.
The UAE foreign minister has also said that the country doesn't have enough evidence to accuse any country of conducting "sabotage" on four tankers near the port of Fujairah on 12 May 2019.
“So far, we have not decided that there is enough evidence to point to a specific state in relation to the attack on tankers off the coast of the UAE”, he said.
However, Reuters reported, citing Arabiya TV, that Abdullah bin Zayed also said that Iran's "fingerprints" are clear on the May oil tanker attacks. Later in the day, Reuters reported that the information about the UAE minister's comments on Iran was based on tweets from Arabiya TV, which were later removed with no explanation.
In a report for the UN Security Council, the UAE indicated the incident that led to four tankers near the Emirati port of Fujairah being damaged had signs of a "sophisticated and coordinated operation" most likely conducted by a state actor. The report however, didn't directly accuse any state of attacking the vessels.
The report stated that trained divers had installed limpet mines on the ships under the waterline with the intent to specifically cripple, but not sink the tankers. The paper also said that the operation required an expert to navigate the boats carrying the divers.
Unlike the UAE in its report, the US directly accused Iran of organising the attack on one Norwegian, one Emirati and two Saudi vessels on 12 May with the aim of artificially spiking oil prices. Tehran has denied the accusations and condemned the attack on the tankers as a threat to free trade and navigation.
The UAE minister's statements come as the US accused Iran of attacking two other tankers on 13 June in the Gulf of Oman. The US released a video allegedly showing an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps boat approaching one of the vessels and removing an unexploded limpet mine.
The claims however contradict the testimonies of crew members from one of the ships. The crew of Kokuka Courageous is said to have seen an object flying towards the tanker just before an explosion hit it.