Mossad chief says Iran carried out Gulf attacks, Tehran offers bullish response

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JERUSALEM: Iran was behind the recent attacks on oil tankers and pipelines across the Gulf region, according to the chief of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency.

Yossi Cohen told an annual security conference in Israel on Monday: “I can tell you, with certainty, from the best sources of Israeli and western intelligence, that Iran is behind the attacks.”

There has been worldwide criticism following attacks on a number of oil tankers off the coasts of the UAE and Oman as well as on oil supply lines in Saudi Arabia and Baghdad.

Cohen added that the attacks were “approved by the Iranian leadership” and were carried out “at least mostly, by the Revolutionary Guard and their surrogates.”

Tensions in the Middle East have risen since the US withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and other world powers last year.

The Trump administration have imposed a series of sanctions on Iranian targets in response to Iranian actions in the Gulf region, while the president made a last-minute decision to abort a military strike against Iran in June for downing an American drone, which Tehran denies.

An Iranian official responded to Cohen’s comments by saying that Israel would be “destroyed in half an hour” if the US were to attack Iran.

“If the US attacks us, only half an hour will remain of Israel’s lifespan,” Mojtaba Zolnour, chairman of the Iranian parliament’s security and foreign policy body, said on Monday.

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