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Iran accused of deadly attack on Japanese-owned Israeli tanker

Israel's centrist opposition leader Yair Lapid delivers a statement to the press at the Knesset (Israeli parliament) in Jerusalem on May 31, 2021. (AFP)
Israel's centrist opposition leader Yair Lapid delivers a statement to the press at the Knesset (Israeli parliament) in Jerusalem on May 31, 2021. (AFP)
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31 Jul 2021 03:07:24 GMT9
31 Jul 2021 03:07:24 GMT9

Arab News Japan

DUBAI: A Japanese-owned oil tanker, which belongs to Israeli shipping magnate Eyal Ofer, was under a deadly attack that Israel blamed as “Iranian terrorism.”

The attack killed two crew members; one British national and one Romanian citizen. Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid accused Iran of being behind the attack, which took place off the coast of Oman in the Arabian Sea on Thursday.

“Iran is not just an Israeli problem,” Lapid said in a statement. “The world must not be silent.”

Details of the attack on the MV Mercer Street vessel, which was operated by the London-based company Zodiac Maritime, are still unclear and the incident has caused an escalation in tensions in the region.

Some reports claim a drone was involved but Iran has yet to respond to the Israeli allegations.

A spokesperson for the UK government said in a statement: “Our thoughts are with the loved ones of a British national who has died following an incident on a tanker off the coast of Oman.”

Zodiac Maritime also announced in a statement the two deaths of the crew members with “profound sadness.” The company added that the tanker was now sailing under the “control of the crew” and on its way to a safe location with a US naval escort.

Lapid called for a tough response and said he was in consultation with his British counterpart Dominic Raab, and that the issue would be taken to the UN.

According to the BBC, an Iranian Arabic-language television station quoted anonymous sources saying the incident was revenge for an alleged Israeli attack on an airport in Syria, an ally of Iran’s.

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