Iran denies being responsible for attack on Israeli-managed ship

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson: The Zionist regime has created insecurity, terror and violence.

Elad Benari ,

Oil tanker in the Persian Gulf (archive)
Oil tanker in the Persian Gulf (archive)
iStock

Iran on Sunday denied it was involved in an attack on an Israeli-managed petroleum product tanker off the coast of Oman, in which two people were killed.

"[The] Zionist regime (Israel) has created insecurity, terror and violence...These accusations about Iran's involvement are condemned by Tehran," said Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh.

"Such accusations are meant by Israel to divert attention from facts and are baseless," he added.

On Friday, the Japanese-owned MV Mercer Street was struck by a drone aircraft, which apparently was flown intentionally into the vessel, setting off a deadly explosion.

Two crew members, one British, one Romanian, were killed in the attack.

The ship, which is operated by the London-based Zodiac Maritime company – owned by Israeli businessman Eyal Ofer – was en route to the United Arab Emirates from Tanzania at the time of the attack.

Israel accused the Iranian government of carrying out the attack, and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett hinted at a possible Israeli response.

“We know how to convey the message to Iran in our own way," he said.

On Sunday, Britain condemned Iran and accused it of carrying out Friday’s deadly attack, saying it has concluded that Iran is likely to blame for the drone bombing.

“UK assessments have concluded that it is highly likely that Iran attacked the MV MERCER STREET in international waters off Oman using one or more Unmanned Aerial Vehicles,” the UK said.

Later, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also accused Iran of attacking the Israeli-managed ship.

In a statement, Blinken said the US is “confident” that the drone attack which killed two crew members on the MV Mercer Street was carried out by Iran.

Blinken condemned Tehran for the attack, and vowed an “appropriate response” for the attack, to be made in conjunction with America’s allies.



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