Tanker attacked off Oman: UK, US blame Iran, Israel claims to have ‘evidence’ of Tehran’s role
MV Mercer Street, a tanker operated by Israeli firm was attacked on Thursday off Oman killing two people. The victims included a British national and a Romanian citizen.
The United States of America and United Kingdom have expressed belief that Iran was behind the attack on tanker, calling it a breach of international law. This came after Israel shared of having evidence that confirmed role of Iran, its long time foe. Prime Minister of Israel Naftali Bennett warned Tehran “we know how to send a message to Iran in our own way”. The latter has however rejected all allegations calling them “baseless accusations”.
“Shadow war” between Iran and Israel
Iran and Israel have been enemies for long time now and since have been in an undeclared “shadow war”. The attack on Israel based firm’s tanker is the latest escalation in this rift. Past few months have seen such multiple instances when a vessel owned by Israel and Iran was attacked. The attacks don’t seem to end soon as both nations are engaged in a ‘tit for tat’ operation.
The escalating rift between the two countries is based on callous talks between Iran and world powers in Vienna that had aim of reviving worn off 2015 deal JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) to curb Iran’s nuclear programme. The West nations believe Iran is secretly building nuclear weapons thereby violating terms of the deal that was formed under US former president Barack Obama.
UK and US point blame on Iran for attack
United Kingdom’s foreign secretary Dominic Raab released a statement on Sunday that it is believed Iran attacked MV Mercer Street with one or more drones. He called the act “deliberate, targeted, and a clear violation of international law”. He added, “Iran must end such attacks, and vessels must be allowed to navigate freely.”
From Washington US Secretary of State Antony Blinken too shared that the country was “confident that Iran conducted this”. He added warning that an apt response would follow Iran’s uncalled attack.
Iran has rejected all allegations. Saeed Khatibzadeh, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesperson said, “The Zionist regime (Israel) has created insecurity, terror and violence”. He further warned Israel that it should stop making accusations. “Whoever sows the wind reaps the whirlwind,” he said.