Israel has squarely blamed Iran for an attack this week on an Israeli-operated tanker off Oman, urging the international community to come up with a harsh response to the incident, which killed at least two of the vessel’s crew.
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid laid the blame for the incident on Tehran after discussing the attack with his British counterpart Dominic Raab late on Friday. Lapid told Raab the world needs to come up with a strong response.
“Iran is not just an Israeli problem, but an exporter of terrorism, destruction and instability that harms us all. The world must not be silent in the face of Iranian terrorism that also harms freedom of shipping,” Lapid said in a statement.
The Liberian-flagged tanker Mercer Street, operated by the Israel-based Zodiac Maritime company, came under attack late on Thursday. Initially reported as a piracy incident, the assault killed two crewmembers – a British and a Romanian national.
It remains unclear what exactly happened to the vessel, though Israeli media, citing unnamed senior officials, reported that it was attacked by drones.
Iran has remained silent on the incident, neither denying nor confirming any involvement. Tehran-based Arabic-language broadcaster al Alam TV, however, cited “sources in the resistance axis” to report that the strike on the Israeli-managed ship was a response to recent strikes on Dabaa airfield in Syria, used both by Syria’s military and by its ally, Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement.
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