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US, UK join Israel in accusing Iran of tanker attack, give green signal for ‘response’

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Photo allegedly showing the Mercer Street oil tanker after attack (Via Twitter)

The United States and the United Kingdom have joined Israel in accusing Iran of orchestrating Thursday's attack on an Israeli tanker off the coast of Oman, despite Tehran’s firm denial.

“Upon review of the available information, we are confident that Iran conducted this attack, which killed two innocent people, using one-way explosive UAVs,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement Sunday. 

Blinken said they are “working with partners” on what he termed an “appropriate response” to the attack. 

Earlier British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the “unlawful and callous” attack had highly likely been carried out by Iran using one or more drones. 

“We believe this attack was deliberate, targeted, and a clear violation of international law by Iran,” he said, adding that London was working with partners on a “concrete response.”

Photo, shared by a reporter for Israeli Channel 10, allegedly showing the Mercer Street oil tanker after attack (Via Twitter)

Iran on Sunday vehemently denied any involvement in the attack, dismissing allegations leveled by Israeli regime officials. 

The spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry called the accusations “childish”, which he said were influenced by the Zionist lobby in the United States.

“The illegitimate Zionist entity must stop leveling baseless charges against Iran. This is not the first time that this regime brings up such accusations [against Tehran],” he noted.

“We must be very cautious not to fall into traps set by the Zionists and the Quds occupying regime in such cases,” the spokesperson said, adding that the Israeli regime is at “the lowest point of legitimacy” and experiencing the “most difficult days of its life.”

The incident involved the Mercer Street, a Liberian-flagged, Japanese-owned vessel managed by Israeli-owned Zodiac Maritime, which according to reports was on its way from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates when it was targeted.

Israeli regime premier Naftali Bennett has accused Tehran of "trying to shirk responsibility" for the attack.

“I declare unequivocally: Iran is the one that carried out the attack on the ship,” he said during a weekly meeting of his cabinet on Sunday.

In a statement on Friday, Zodiac Maritime, the Israeli-owned firm managing the oil tanker, said that two crewmen, a Briton and a Romanian, had been killed in the assault.

In recent months, several other Israeli-managed ships have come under attack on various maritime routes across the world. 

The attacks come against the backdrop of the Israeli regime’s unrelenting assaults on cargo ships across the Persian Gulf region and elsewhere.

Green light for response

Israeli newspaper Kan reported Sunday that Tel Aviv has received a “green light” from Washington and London to carry out a “response” to the attack.

According to the report, Israeli regime officials are currently discussing how and when to respond, with possibilities that an Iranian port or a military ship could be targeted.

Israel also plans to share purported intelligence with countries to "bring condemnation" on Iran, it added.  

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