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UK blames Iran for deadly ship attack

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab in Khartoum, Sudan on January 21, 2021. [Mahmoud Hjaj - Anadolu Agency]
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab in Khartoum, Sudan on January 21, 2021. [Mahmoud Hjaj - Anadolu Agency]

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced on Sunday that it was "highly likely" that Iran was behind the tanker attack off the coast of Oman, killing two people last Thursday, Reuters reported.

"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," Raab revealed in a statement.

"The UK condemns the unlawful and callous attack committed on a merchant vessel off the coast of Oman, which killed a British and a Romanian national. Our thoughts are with the friends and family of those killed in the incident," the foreign secretary stated.

"Iran must end such attacks, and vessels must be allowed to navigate freely in accordance with international law. The UK is working with our international partners on a concerted response to this unacceptable attack," he added.

Israel's Prime Minister Naftali Bennett suggested that there was "evidence" that Iran was responsible for the attack, warning that Tel Aviv knows: "How to send a message to Iran in our own way."

The Mercer Street is a Japanese-owned tanker flying a Liberian flag and with a foreign crew. The ship is managed by London-based Zodiac Maritime, a company owned by Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer.

READ: What Iran's pick of FM tells us about its plans for the nuclear deal

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