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No indication of Iran’s involvement in Israeli tanker attack: Russia

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)
The Russian Foreign Ministry’s Second Asian Department Director, Zamir Kabulov

A senior Russian foreign ministry official strictly rejects existence of any indications pointing to Iran’s likely involvement in a recent attack on an Israeli oil tanker off the Omani coast.

"We have not the slightest reason to believe [that Iran was involved in the attack],” the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Second Asian Department Director, Zamir Kabulov told Russia’s Sputnik news agency on Monday.

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

The Israeli regime and its sworn allies, the United States and the UK, rushed to accuse Iran of having a role in the incident, without providing any evidence. The Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also alleged that the attack was deliberate and coordinated by Tehran.

Kabulov, however, reiterated Russia’s stance, saying Moscow’s refusal to corroborate such accusations was because “we have no facts.” 

“When there are facts, then we will work out our position," he added.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry has summoned Britain’s chargé d'affaires and Romania's ambassador to convey Tehran's strong protest, reminding the envoys that the source of instability in the Persian Gulf was not the Islamic Republic, but actually extra-regional presence.

Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh has also refuted such accusations as "absolutely groundless," saying they feature “contradictory,” “hollow,” and “provocative” claims.

The official also sounded a strong warning against any act of adventurism targeting the Islamic Republic’s interests based on the unfounded claims.


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