The governments of the United States and the United Kingdom declared this Sunday (1st) that Iran is responsible for an attack on an oil tanker managed by an Israeli company off the coast of Oman last Thursday (29). Two crew members, a British citizen and a Romanian citizen, died in the attack.
The Iranian regime denies any responsibility for the attack. The attacked vessel was the Mercer Street, a Japanese vessel which sails under the Liberian flag and is operated by the Israeli company Zodiac Maritime.
The circumstances of the incident are still unclear. Zodiac Maritime called the episode a “suspected hack” and a source from the Oman Maritime Safety Center said it was an accident.
US and UK officials said the attack was carried out with a drone and their intelligence data indicated Iran’s involvement.
“We believe that this attack was deliberate, with a clear advantage, and constituted a flagrant violation of international law by Iran,” said British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that “after reviewing the information available, we are confident that Iran carried out this attack.” The US Navy escorted the oil tanker hit by the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan.
The Israeli government, which previously accused Iran of being involved in the attack, reinforced the allegations on Sunday. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said “it was Iran that led the attack on the ship” and that the incident required a firm response.
In response, a spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Saeed Khatibzadeh, said that “these Israeli accusations seek to distract from the facts and are unfounded”.
The incident at this farm is another amid escalating conflicts between Iran and Israel, which since 2019 have mutually attacked freighters in the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. In March of this year, an Iranian container ship was attacked and caught fire. The country blamed the attack on Israel.
The Arabian Sea is located between Iran and Oman and there is the strategic Strait of Hormuz, through which much of the world’s oil circulates and where a US-led coalition is present.