Iran denies involvement in Gulf of Oman tanker attack
Israeli Prime Minister Bennett and British and American foreign ministers have all identified Iran as the perpetrator of an attack on an oil tanker near Oman. However, Iran denies all involvement and calls the allegations unfounded.
Thursday night the oil tanker Mercer Street was hit by an explosion. The attack killed two crew members, one from Romania and one from the United Kingdom. The ship is owned by a Japanese owner and operates under the Liberian flag, but is operated by a British shipping company owned by an Israeli billionaire.
Since spring, there have been multiple explosions on ships that have a link with Israel in the Gulf of Oman, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. Never before have there been fatalities. Iran was also referred to in previous attacks.
‘Send a message to Iran’
According to Israel, the United Kingdom and the US, this time the attack was carried out with a drone, which caused a hole in the hull. “The Iranians who attacked Mercer Street with an unmanned aircraft had the intention of hitting an Israeli target,” Israeli Prime Minister Bennett now responds.
“Iran’s criminal behaviour is not only a threat to Israel, but also to global freedom of shipping and international trade,” he added. Bennett threatens to retaliate: “at least we know how to send a message to Iran in our own way.”In april there was also an explosion on an Iranian ship, possibly in retaliation from Israel.
The British respond via foreign minister Raab: “the UK condemns this illegal and senseless attack. We believe that this was a targeted attack by Iran and a clear violation of international law.”
U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken also condemns the attack and says to consult with governments in the region and elsewhere about “an appropriate response”.
The two top officers of Israel and the UK have also contacted each other. A statement by the Israeli army states that they have discussed “recent developments in the region and common challenges with regard to both countries.”
Iran rejects all allegations:
“..it is not the first time that the Zionist regime occupying Jerusalem has made such unfounded accusations against the Islamic Republic of Iran,” said a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “He who sows wind shall reap storm.”