by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – The US and the UK have joined Israel in expressing certainty that Iran was behind Thursday night’s deadly drone attack on an Israeli-managed oil tanker off the coast of Oman, the Jerusalem Post reports. The three countries are planning a joint response to the attack, even as Iran has denied involvement.
Perceived as an Israeli target, the Liberian-flagged, Japanese-owned Mercer Street ship with Israeli-owned Zodiac Maritime was attacked by unmanned aircraft outside Omani territorial waters. The first casualties in the ongoing maritime battle between Iran and Israel were the ship’s captain, a Romanian citizen, and a British crew member, the Jerusalem Post reports.
Having sent condolences to Romania and to Britain for the loss of their citizens, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet told his cabinet:
“I determine, with absolute certainty: Iran carried out the attack against the ship. 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.” In addition to working with the US and the UK on a response, Israel is asking the UN Security Council to condemn the Iranian Islamic regime for the attack.
Condemning the attack in a statement on Saturday, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said the US is “confident” that Iran carried out the bombing.
“There is no justification for this attack, which follows a pattern of attacks and other belligerent behavior,” 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.”
In a separate statement, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “We believe this attack was deliberate, targeted, and a clear violation of international law by Iran. UK assessments have concluded that it is highly likely that Iran attacked the MV Mercer Street in international waters off Oman on 29 July using one or more Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.”
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