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Gulf of Oman: Unconvinced EU foreign ministers call for independent investigation after US claim Iran is behind tanker attack

Published: June 17, 2019
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Source: Independent UK

EU foreign ministers remained unconvinced by US allegations that Iran was behind last week’s attack on two Gulf tankers as they arrived at a meeting on Monday.

There was strong support among EU countries for an independent UN investigation and calls for more evidence – with the UK relatively isolating in its support the Trump administration’s line.

One foreign minister invoked the spectre of US misuse of intelligence over Iraq as a reason for scepticism, as representatives of the 28 countries arrived at the council meeting.

The ministers will discuss the incident in the Gulf of Oman over lunch, with Sudan, trade policy with Cuba, and the situation in Venezuela also on the main agenda.

Heiko Maas, the German foreign minister, said the EU states “continue to gather information” while Dutch foreign minister Stef Blok said the Netherlands was “interested in any clarifications that can be made available”.

“We know the findings of the American and the British intelligence services, which assume that you can be almost certain. We are comparing this with our information. I think you have to proceed very, very carefully on this,” Mr Maas said.

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