U.S. blames Iran for tanker attack, prepares for response

Source: Xinhua| 2021-08-02 03:18:56|Editor: huaxia

WASHINGTON, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- The United States on Sunday blamed Iran for the attack against an oil tanker managed by an Israeli-owned company in the north Arabian Sea, saying "an appropriate response" is forthcoming.

Zodiac Maritime, a London-based firm owned by Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer, said on Friday that its oil tanker Mercer Street was attacked on July 29 in the northern Indian Ocean, and two crew members onboard were killed.

"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 it is increasingly employing throughout the region," U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

"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," he added.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett earlier in the day had accused Iran of being behind the deadly attack. "I declare unequivocally: Iran carried out the attack against the ship," Bennett said at the start of a weekly cabinet meeting.

In a press conference on Sunday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh dismissed the Israeli allegations that Iran conducted the attack as "baseless." Enditem

KEY WORDS: US,Iran,Tanker attack
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