Israel accuses Iran of oil tanker attack that left two dead


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The Foreign Minister of Israel, Yair Lapid, on Friday accused Iran of the attack on the ship, by a company headed by an Israeli businessman, off the coast of Oman, and has branded the Iranians as “exporters of terrorism.”

“Iran is not just an Israeli problem, but an exporter of terrorism, destruction and instability that is hurting us all. We must never remain silent in the face of Iranian terrorism, which also damages the freedom of navigation, ”Lapid has asserted on his social networks.

In addition, the Israeli minister added that he has contacted and has a “constant” conversation with his British counterpart, Dominic Raab, who has been urged “to respond severely to the attack on the ship in which a british citizen died».

“I have instructed the embassies in Washington, London and the United Nations to work with their interlocutors in the administration and the relevant delegations at the United Nations headquarters in New York,” he said.

Attack response

For its part, the Iranian state news network ‘Al-Alam’, citing “well-informed sources,” said the attack was in response to another by the Israelis in Syria and that it killed “two men from the resistance ‘last week.

The company that manages the vessel, Zodiac Maritime, has reported this Friday that the attack on ‘MT Mercer Street’, perpetrated late on Thursday, has resulted in the death of two crew, one of them Romanian and the other British.

“Our main concern continues to be the safety and well-being of everyone on board and those affected by the situation,” he stressed in his statement, published through his account on the social network Twitter.

“The details of the incident are being established and an investigation is underway,” he said, before adding that he works closely with the ‘United Kingdom Marine Trade Operations’ (UKMTO) and other competent authorities.

The UKMTO had indicated hours earlier in a short note on its website that it had “received information about the attack on a ship” off the coast of Oman. “There are investigations underway,” he indicated, before adding that “this is not an act of piracy.”

The London-based company Zodiac Maritime said in a statement shortly thereafter that the Japanese-owned ‘MT Mercer Steet’ had been the target of an “alleged piracy incident”, without giving further details.

He also stressed that at the time of the incident the ship was covering the route between the Tanzanian city of Dar es Salaam and the emirati Fuyaira “Without carrying cargo on board”. “We are in coordination with the UKMTO and other relevant authorities,” he concluded.

The Persian Gulf region has been at the center of a latent dispute between Iran and several western states, especially the United States, and has been the scene of several such incidents in recent years.

US targets drone strike

The United States Army has pointed to a drone attack as a possible cause of the event. The United States Central Command (CENTCOM) has published on its website a statement entitled “Two dead in a drone attack in the Arabian Sea: the US Navy gives support”, in which it adds that its forces “determined through of clear visual evidence»That ‘Mercer Street’ had been the target of an attack.

He also highlighted that the merchant ship, under the Liberian flag, “is on its way to port by its own means and there is no threat against the personnel”, before highlighting that the ship “is being escorted by the ‘USS Ronald Regan’ and the ‘USS Mitscher’ ”.

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