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The United States and the United Kingdom have blamed Iran for the Mercer Street tanker attack that killed two.
The Mercer Street was attacked with drones on Friday off the Omani coast. The tanker is managed by UK-based Zodiac Maritime, a company owned by Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer.
”We join our partners and allies in our strong condemnation of the attack against the Mercer Street, a commercial ship that was peacefully transiting through the north Arabian Sea in international waters,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement on Sunday.
“Upon review of the available information, we are confident that Iran conducted this attack, which killed two innocent people, using one-way explosive UAVs, a lethal capability it is increasingly employing throughout the region.”
“There is no justification for this attack, which follows a pattern of attacks and other belligerent behavior. These actions threaten freedom of navigation through this crucial waterway, international shipping and commerce, and the lives of those on the vessels involved,” Blinken also said.
The UK Foreign Office also condemned the attack and blamed Iran for it.
“The UK condemns the unlawful and callous attack committed on a merchant vessel off the coast of Oman, which killed a British and a Romanian National. Our thoughts are with the friends and family of those killed in the incident,” Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said in a statement.
“We believe this attack was deliberate, targeted, and a clear violation of international law by Iran. UK assessments have concluded that it is highly likely that Iran attacked the MV MERCER STREET in international waters off Oman on 29 July using one or more Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). Iran must end such attacks, and vessels must be allowed to navigate freely in accordance with international law.”
Raab added that the UK was working with international partners to come up with a concerted response to the attack. Israel also blames Tehran for the attack.
Iran has denied any involvement.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com