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US Officials Claim Iran or Iranian Proxies Damaged Ships in UAE Waters - Report

US officials said Monday that initial assessments of an incident over the weekend in which four oil tankers were damaged by explosions in Emirati waters point to Iranian involvement.

Four oil tankers — two Saudi, one Emirati and one Norwegian — off the coast of the Fujairah, in the United Arab Emirates, suffered on Sunday what the UAE Foreign Ministry called "sabotage operations." The explosion blew a five-to-10 foot hole in each ship near or just below the water line, a US military team told AP Monday.

"Iranian or Iranian-backed proxies" are believed to be behind the attack, according to US officials.

While the explosions weakened the structures of the four vessels, none suffered any injuries or deaths and no oil was leaked from the ships, Sputnik noted.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi earlier on Monday called the incident "worrisome and dreadful," adamantly denying Tehran's involvement.

"Such incidents have a negative impact on maritime transportation security," Mousavi said, decrying the incident whether it was "orchestrated by ill-wishers" or "adventurism by foreigners."

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