US Envoy to Iran Says US Will Respond to Attacks on Interests With Force

US Special Representative for Iran, Brian Hook, said the US will respond by military force if any of its interests are attacked by Iran, Hook told reporters on Thursday from Saudi Arabia. He also said the US actions taken so far in the Gulf have had, "desired deterrent effect on the (Iranian) regime’s risk calculations."

The US has sent an aircraft carrier, a B-52 bomber taskforce and 1,500 more troops are being deployed to the region.

Hook was speaking to reporters over the phone before an emergency summit with Arab leaders on Thursday, in the Saudi city of Mecca, to discuss recent drone strikes within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the four oil tankers that were sabotaged off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.

Tehran has denied any involvement in these attacks. The Houthis in Yemen have taken responsibility for the drone strikes and have been at war with Saudi Arabia for over four years. Mohammed al-Houthi, one of the group’s leaders, denied Tehran’s involvement in the strikes, "We are independent in our decisions and … we are not subordinated to anyone."

On Wednesday John Bolton said Iran was "almost certainly" behind the attacks on the oil tankers without offering any evidence.

Dave DeCamp is a freelance journalist based in Brooklyn NY, focusing on US Foreign policy and wars. He is on Twitter at @decampdave