US, UK say Iran behind oil tanker attack; Iran denies involvement

August 3, 2021 by JNS
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The United States and the United Kingdom joined Israel on Sunday in blaming Iran for a fatal drone attack on an Israeli-managed oil tanker in the Arabian Sea on Thursday, AP reported.

Iranian flag. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

The attack killed two crewmen: one British and one Romanian.

“We believe this attack was deliberate, targeted, and a clear violation of international law by Iran,” said British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken joined his British counterpart in condemning the attack on “a commercial ship that was peacefully transiting through the north Arabian Sea in international waters.”

Both Raab and Blinken said the attack was carried out by Iranian drones.

“We are confident that Iran conducted this attack, which killed two innocent people, using one-way explosive UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles], a lethal capability it is increasingly employing throughout the region,” said Blinken.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said in a statement, “I am pleased that both the United States and the United Kingdom have condemned these terrorist acts. The threat posed by the terrorist regime in Iran will only increase when the ‘Butcher of Tehran’ [Ebrahim] Raisi becomes president.”

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh denied Iran was behind the attack, according to AP.

“It’s not the first time that the Zionist regime occupying Jerusalem has made such empty accusations against the Islamic Republic of Iran,” said Khatibzadeh.

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett placed the blame for the attack squarely on the Islamic Republic, saying, “Iran’s thuggishness endangers not only Israel but also harms global interests—namely, freedom of navigation and international trade.”

He called for the international community to convey to Iran that it had crossed a line.

“In any case, we know how to send a message to Iran in our own way,” he added.

The Japanese-owned vessel Mercer Street is managed by Zodiac Maritime Ltd., a London-based company owned by Israeli tycoon Eyal Ofer. It sails under a Liberian flag.


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