The United States is confident that Iran carried out a drone attack on an Israeli-managed tanker transiting through international waters near Oman on Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday.
“I want to condemn again the attack on Friday against the commercial ship … We’ve conducted a thorough review and we’re confident that Iran carried out this attack,” Blinken said at a regular news briefing.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said earlier in the day that UK assessments had concluded that it was highly likely that Iran had used one or more drones to carry out the “unlawful and callous” attack.
“We believe this attack was deliberate, targeted, and a clear violation of international law by Iran,” he said. The UK was working with international partners on a “concerted response,” he added.
The incident involved the Mercer Street, a Liberian-flagged, Japanese-owned ship managed by Israeli-owned Zodiac Maritime.
The U.S. Navy, which was escorting the tanker with the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, said on Saturday that early indications “clearly pointed” to a drone attack.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett had accused Tehran of “trying to shirk responsibility” for the attack, and called its denial “cowardly”.