'Deliberate, targeted': UK, US believe Iran is responsible for Oman oil tanker attack

WION Web Team
London, United KingdomUpdated: Aug 02, 2021, 11:23 AM IST

Dominic Raab has resigned as the UK’s deputy prime minister and as justice secretary after an official report on allegations that he bullied civil servants Photograph:(Reuters)

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According to Dominic Raab, the United Kingdom believes that Iran intentionally attacked an Israeli tanker off Oman on Thursday

Britain believes Iran deliberately carried out a deadly attack on an Israeli tanker off Oman last week, said UK's foreign ministry official, urging Tehran to cease such attacks.

The United States has also blamed Iran for the deadly attack, vowing an "appropriate response" was forthcoming. In a statement, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that "Upon review of the available information, we are confident that Iran conducted this attack,".

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab says that the United Kingdom believes that Iran deliberately attacked an Israeli tanker off Oman on Thursday.

Urging the Iranian authorities to stop such attacks, Raab said, "We believe this attack was deliberate, targeted, and a clear violation of international law by Iran". He added that it was "highly likely" that a drone was used in the attack.  

Previously, following the attack, the US military and Zodiac Maritime, which operates the vessel, had also said that the strike appeared to involve a drone. 

Earlier on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett had threatened to "send a message" in retaliation, claiming that his country had "evidence" of Iran's involvement in the deadly tanker attack off Oman.

"The intelligence evidence for this exists and we expect the international community will make it clear to the Iranian regime that they have made a serious mistake," the Israeli premier said at the weekly cabinet meeting in remarks conveyed by his office. "In any case, we know how to send a message to Iran in our own way."

His statement came after Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh rebuffed what he called Israel's "baseless allegations".

Following Israel's push for UN action, Khatibzadeh also promised that Iran would defend its interests.

The MT Mercer Street, an oil tanker managed by prominent Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer, was struck Thursday off the Omani coast. A British security guard and a Romanian crew member were killed in the attack.

(With inputs from agencies)