Washington [US]: The United States is confident that Iran is responsible for the attack on the Mercer Street oil tanker, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday.
“We join our partners and allies in our strong condemnation of the attack against the Mercer Street, a commercial ship that was peacefully transiting through the north Arabian Sea in international waters,” Blinken said in a statement. “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 that is increasingly employed throughout the region,” he said.
Blinken said that these actions threaten freedom of navigation through this crucial waterway, international shipping and commerce, and the lives of those on the vessels involved.
There is no justification for this attack, which follows a pattern of attacks and other belligerent behaviour, he stated.
“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. We once again offer our condolences to the families of the victims,” Blinken added.
Earlier, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab also condemned the attack and said, “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 (UAVs).”
“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,” Raab added.