Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash speaks during a news conference on Yemen in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Aug. 13, 2018. (AP)

June 14, 2019

The United Arab Emirates slammed on Thursday the attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman and on Saudi Arabia’s Abha International Airport as a “major and dangerous escalation”.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said that the developments require the international community to scramble to protect regional stability and security.

“Wisdom and collective responsibility are needed to prevent more escalation,” he said in Twitter post.

On Friday, he took aim at Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, saying his credibility is “diminishing”.

“Every single day Iran’s Foreign Minister Zarif’s reference to team B becomes more farcical and his credibility diminishing,” he said. “Public relations is no real substitute to constructive policies. De-escalation in current situation requires wise actions not empty words.”

Zarif often uses “Team B” to refer to US National Security Adviser John Bolton and those in the administration and the Gulf region who share his hawkish stance towards Iran.

Gargash’s tweet seemed to be a reaction to one by Zarif, hours earlier, saying: “Some misinterpretations necessitate a clarification: B_Team is sabotaging diplomacy (..) and covering up Economic Terrorism by the US against Iran.”

Twenty-six civilians were wounded on Wednesday in an attack by the Iran-backed Houthi militias in Yemen on the arrivals hall at the Abha International Airport.

Two oil tankers came under attack in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday. The United States blamed Iran for the attacks, which drove up oil prices and stoked fears of a new US-Iranian confrontation.

Asharq Al-Awsat

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Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.