Admiral Gilday accused Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) of being directly responsible for attacks on tankers off the UAE earlier this month in what could be a foreshadowing of the conclusion of ongoing investigations into the incident.
“The attack against the shipping in Fujairah, we attribute it to the IRGC,” Mr Gilday said, explaining that the Pentagon attributed limpet mines used in the attack directly to the IRGC.
He declined to describe “the means of delivery” of the mines, however.
Mr Gilday also accused Iran-backed “proxy” forces of carrying out a rocket attack in Baghdad’s Green Zone last week.
The Pentagon did not provide any evidence to support its claims, but said it hoped to further declassify intelligence supporting them. Iran has dismissed the accusations entirely and accuses the United States of brinkmanship with its troop deployments.
Mr Trump played down the potential for military conflict in the region, saying he believed Iran did not want a confrontation with the United States , even as Washington tightens sanctions with a goal of pushing Iran to make concessions beyond the terms of its 2015 nuclear deal.