Mossad chief: I say with certainty Iran behind Persian Gulf attacks

Mossad chief says Iran conducted attacks on oil tankers, other targets. It was the first time the Mossad accused the Islamic Republic publicly for the attacks.

By World Israel News Staff and Associated Press

Yossi Cohen, head of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, says Iran was responsible for a string of recent attacks on targets across the Persian Gulf.

Speaking at an annual security conference in Herzliya, Israel, on Monday, Cohen said the attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf, oil fields in Saudi Arabia and in Baghdad were the work of Iran.

“I say to you, with certainty, based on the best sources of both Israeli and Western espionage, that Iran is behind these attacks. They were approved by the Iranian leadership and carried out, in large part, by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its proxies,” Cohen said.

“Despite being different types of targets in different locations, they are part of the same campaign being led by the same figure,” he said, accusing Iran of trying to “start a fire” in the region.

This was the first time that the Mossad went public with its accusation.

In May, two Saudi oil tankers were sabotaged off the coast of the United Arab Emirates in attacks that caused “significant damage.” One of the ships was en route to pick up Saudi oil to take to the United States.

The U.S. blamed Iran for the attack.

A Saudi oil pipeline was also hit by drones around the same time. Houthi rebels from Yemen took credit for that attack. The Houthis are sponsored by Iran.

Iran since knocked down a U.S. Navy drone and warned of a “stronger response” the next time the U.S. violates its airspace. The U.S. denied it had entered Iranian airspace.

Tensions have steadily risen since the U.S. withdrew from Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers last year and began restoring crippling sanctions. Israel has long seen Iran as its greatest threat.