UAE downplays attacks to protect image

UAE's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash

UAE's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash

A previous version of this story identified Anwar Gargash as UAE's foreign minister.

Tensions have risen sharply in the Gulf over the past week yet almost as many questions have been raised as answered as to what exactly happened - and what could happen next.

The minister said the sabotage attack against four oil tankers last Sunday off the coast of Fujairah had come at a "sensitive and hard period in the region".

There is still very little information about what exactly happened, however.

Though the attack on the vessels caused no casualties or oil-spill, it did damage the structure of the ships. The The United States pulled out a year ago, but the European Union, Russia and China are still trying to preserve this agreement, do you think Iran is willing to continue their agreement with these countries?

On Wednesday, Gargash confirmed that the UAE, along with France and the United States, are conducting an investigation into the attack, the results of which should be released in the coming days.

The response of the government is couched with the warning against what it calls "adventurism by foreigners and conspiracy orchestrated by ill-wishers".

There was far more clarity about Tuesday's attack on the Saudi East-West pipeline.

A Saudi Arabia-led coalition that's been fighting the Houthis for the past four years hit rebel targets on Thursday in retaliation, and a Saudi prince accused Iran of ordering the drone attacks.

The Emirati Ministry for Foreign Affairs nearly immediately condemned the attack, dubbing it "new proof of the Houthis' hostile and terrorist tendencies".

Yemen's Huthi rebels had claimed responsibility for twin drone strikes on the pipeline from the oil-rich Eastern Province to the Red Sea coast.

An unmanned Iranian boat skips over the waves at full speed and rams into a US aircraft carrier, sending up an orange fireball and plumes of smoke.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has tempered its reaction to attacks on oil tankers off its coast in a bid to protect its reputation as a safe and stable business hub.

The coalition, which includes the UAE, has been at war with the Houthis since 2015, carrying out near-daily airstrikes.

Nonetheless, the Houthis are being held accountable for the pipeline attack.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia-led military coalition carried out air strikes on the Yemeni capital on Thursday.

The Arab News published an editorial in English on Thursday, arguing that after incidents this week against Saudi energy targets, the next logical step "should be surgical strikes".

Despite worldwide scepticism, the U.S. government has been pointing to increasing threats from Iran, a long-time enemy and also a rival of USA allies Israel and Saudi Arabia.

The main issue driving the price is the drone strikes in the Middle East, Justin Urquhart Stewart, director at Seven Investment Management in London, told New Europe by phone on 16 May.

A senior British officer in the USA -backed coalition fighting the Islamic State group appeared to push back against the US claims, telling reporters earlier in the week that there'd been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria. Maj.

Iran has not addressed the issue of training proxies, but has warned that its allies in the region have the weapons and capability to target enemies if Iranian interests are threatened.

"We have tied up supplies from alternate sources". Iraq is home to powerful pro-Iranian militias, while also hosting more than 5,000 American troops. President Trump denied this claim, calling it "fake news" and stating that: "Hopefully we're not going to have to plan for that".

The U.S. has sent an aircraft carrier and bombers into the Mideast to counter a still-unexplained threat it perceives from Tehran. A hot war, however, between the USA and Iran could be an entirely different matter.

Jeffrey also said that only Russian Federation could help the USA to remove the Iranians from Syria. "We are looking for Iran to behave like a normal country".

It's intelligence they say shows Iran moving missiles onto boats in the Persian Gulf.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said during a visit to Tokyo on Thursday that Iran has the right to respond to the "unacceptable" USA sanctions, but has exercised "maximum restraint". Germany and the Netherlands both suspended their military assistance programs in the country in the latest sign of tensions. Market uncertainties were heightened when US President Donald Trump cancelled waivers granted to Iran's key oil buyers towards the end of April.

In 2012, when Iran was under a previous round of sanctions, Saudi Arabia and Iraq raised their Asian market share.