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G7 says Iran behind Israel tanker attack, threatening peace and stability

The Israeli-linked Japanese-owned tanker MT Mercer Street is seen off the port of the Gulf Emirate of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates on 3 August 2021. [KARIM SAHIB/AFP via Getty Images]
The Israeli-linked Japanese-owned tanker MT Mercer Street is seen off the port of the Gulf Emirate of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates on 3 August 2021. [KARIM SAHIB/AFP via Getty Images]

Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven wealthy economies said Iran was threatening international peace and security and that all available evidence showed it was behind an attack on the Mercer Street tanker last week, reported Reuters.

"All available evidence clearly points to Iran. There is no justification for this attack," said the statement, issued by current G7 chair, Britain.

The vessel was a Liberian-flagged, Japanese-owned petroleum product tanker managed by Israeli-owned Zodiac Maritime.

Tehran has denied any involvement in the suspected drone attack in which two crew members – a Briton and a Romanian – were killed. In a separate statement, the US military said explosives experts from the Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier – which deployed to assist the Mercer Street – concluded the drone was produced in Iran.

It said the explosives experts were able to recover several pieces of a drone, including a part of the wing and internal components which it said were nearly identical to previously-collected samples of Iranian attack drones.

Opinion: Mysterious tanker incidents reinforce Iran's deterrent power

The US military also suggested the attack may have been launched from the Iranian coast, saying the distance to the locations of the attacks "was within the range of documented Iranian one-way attack" drones.

"Some of the material was transferred to US Fifth Fleet headquarters in Manama, Bahrain and subsequently to a US national laboratory for further testing and verification," Central Command, which oversees US forces in the region, said in the statement.

Despite Tehran's denials, Britain, the United States and others have criticised Iran for the attack.

The G7 statement said:

Iran's behaviour, alongside its support to proxy forces and non-state armed actors, threatens international peace and security.

"We call on Iran to stop all activities inconsistent with relevant UN Security Council resolutions, and call on all parties to play a constructive role in fostering regional stability and peace."

Read: Iran made 'big mistake' by targeting oil tanker, says UK's military chief

Britain raised the issue at a closed-door meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Friday. No action is expected to be taken by the 15-member body.

"Iran was responsible for this attack. We know it was deliberate and targeted. There is no justification for what happened – a state sanctioned attack on a civilian vessel, passing peacefully through international waters," Britain's UN Ambassador Barbara Woodward told reporters after the meeting.

Iran's deputy UN Ambassador Zahra Ershadi rejected the accusations that Tehran was behind the attack and warned against any retaliation: "Iran will not hesitate to defend itself and secure its national interests."

Read: Iran vows 'decisive' response to 'foolish' Israeli action

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