‘Highly likely’ Iran carried out deadly oil tanker attack, says Dominic Raab
The UK has said it is “highly likely” Iran carried out an “unlawful and callous attack” on a ship in the Middle East, which left a Briton dead.
The foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, said the government believed the drone attack on the oil tanker off the coast of Oman was “deliberate, targeted, and a clear violation of international law by Iran”.
The strike on the oil tanker Mercer Street on Thursday night was the first known fatal attack after years of assaults on commercial shipping in the region linked to tensions with Iran over its tattered nuclear deal.
The British maritime security firm Ambrey said the attack killed one of its employees onboard the vessel.
Iran denied responsibility after Israel’s prime minister, Naftali Bennett, directly blamed it for the attack, but Raab said the UK government backed Bennett’s claim.
“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,” said the foreign secretary.
“Our thoughts are with the friends and family of those killed in the incident.
“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).
“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.”