WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. officials believe Iran encouraged Houthi militants or Iraq-based Shi’ite militias to carry out Sunday’s attacks on four tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, two U.S. government sources said on Wednesday.
The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity and who are familiar with U.S. national security assessments, said they viewed the attacks as a serious provocation by Iran which posed a significant threat to shipping.
Iran rejects the allegation of Iranian involvement and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that “extremist individuals” in the U.S. government were pursuing dangerous policies. No one has claimed responsibility for the tanker attacks.
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