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News > U.S.

The US Blames Iran for Tanker Attack and Prepares for Response

  • Israeli-operated ship Mercer Street, 2021.

    Israeli-operated ship Mercer Street, 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @JasonMBrodsky

Published 2 August 2021

"Any move against the interests and national security of Iran will be met with a tough and firm response," an Iranian top official warned.

The United States on Sunday blamed Iran for the attack against an oil tanker managed by an Israeli-owned company in the north Arabian Sea, saying "an appropriate response" is forthcoming.


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Zodiac Maritime, a London-based firm owned by Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer, said on Friday that its oil tanker Mercer Street was attacked on July 29 in the northern Indian Ocean, and two crew members onboard were killed.

"Upon review of the available information, we are confident that Iran conducted this attack, which killed two innocent people, using one-way explosive UAVs, a lethal capability it is increasingly employing throughout the region," U.S. Secretary of State Antony 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," he added.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett earlier in the day had accused Iran of being behind the deadly attack. "I declare unequivocally: Iran carried out the attack against the ship," Bennett said at the start of a weekly cabinet meeting.

On Sunday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh dismissed the Israeli allegations that Iran conducted the attack as "baseless."

“Although the Islamic Republic of Iran considers threats of Western officials and those of the Zionist regime as propaganda, any move against the interests and national security of Iran will be met with a tough and firm response, and Washington and London will directly be held accountable for the consequences,” an Iranian top official told Teheran Times.

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