In separate statements issued on Sunday, both the United States and the United Kingdom said that they believe Iran is responsible for the attack targeting the Israeli-managed petroleum tanker that occurred off the coast of Oman, last Thursday. In statements issued following the deadly attack, which caused the death of a Briton and a Romanian, the US and the UK pledged to cooperate with partners to retaliate.
Earlier on Sunday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that his government is sure that Iran carried out the attack by using one-way explosive UAVs in the light of the reachable information. Stating that there is no plea for the attack, Blinken said, “We are working with our partners to consider our next steps and consulting with governments inside the region and beyond on an appropriate response, which will be forthcoming.”
On the same day, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab issued a statement indicating that the UK government had finished its evaluation regarding the latest incident and is convinced that Iran conducted this “unlawful and callous” attack through one or more drones. Emphasizing that the attack was “deliberate, targeted, and a clear violation of international law by Iran,” the British top diplomat added that his government is in cooperation with international partners on a “concerted response.”
Later, the UK announced that it had summoned Iran’s ambassador on August 2.
The initial findings clearly indicated that the attack was carried out by an unmanned aerial vehicle, the US Navy, which accompanied the tanker with the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, stated on Sunday.
The attack targeted Mercer Street, a Liberian flagged ship owned by Japan, which was managed by Israeli-owned Zodiac Maritime off the coast of Oman on Thursday.
In response to the accusations directed to it, Tehran released a statement denying its involvement in the incident. Speaking upon the incident, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh told reporters that Tehran condemned the allegations claiming that Iran is responsible for the incident. Accusing Israel of creating insecurity, terror, and violence, Khatibzadeh said, “Such accusations are meant by Israel to divert attention from facts and are baseless.”
Following the incident, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett alleged that Iran had carried out the attack on the ship, and that the intelligence reports supported his claim. Speaking at a cabinet meeting, the Israeli Prime Minister said, “We, in any case, have our own way to relay the message to Iran.” Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid also stated that a strong reaction is needed towards the incident.
Meanwhile, different explanations regarding the reason for the incident have existed. Zodiac Maritime put emphasis on the possibility of “suspected piracy,” while a source from the Oman Maritime Security Center defined the case as an accident that occurred outside Omani territorial waters.
In recent times, it is seen that Iran and Israel have blamed each other for conducting attacks on their tankers.