G7 foreign ministers have said “all available evidence clearly points to Iran” being behind a drone attack on July 29 against a tanker that killed British and Romanian nationals.
“This was a deliberate and targeted attack, and a clear violation of international law … There is no justification for this attack,” the ministers from the world’s seven most developed nations said in a statement on Friday.
The vessel was a Liberian-flagged, Japanese-owned petroleum products tanker managed by Israeli-owned Zodiac Maritime.
The EU’s High Representative for foreign policy, Josep Borrell, condemned “in strongest terms the unlawful attack committed on the merchant vessel Mercer Street, off Masirah Island in Oman as well.
“Such reckless and unilateral actions, against international law and threatening to international peace, are unacceptable and need to stop,” he added. “Freedom of navigation must be guaranteed in accordance with international law.
Iran’s deputy UN Ambassador Zahra Ershadi rejected the accusations that Tehran was behind the attack and warned against any retaliation: “Iran will not hesitate to defend itself and secure its national interests.”
Iran’s lack of responsibility for attacks it carries out is nothing new. In January 2020, after Iran fired missiles at a commercial plane and killing all 176 people on board, it initially denied shooting the plane for days, and then explained it was the result of the misalignments of a mobile missile battery after mounting evidence against it.
The US military, in a separate statement, said explosives experts from the Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier – which deployed to assist the Mercer Street – concluded the drone was produced in Iran.
It said the explosives experts were able to recover several pieces of a drone, including a part of the wing and internal components which it said were nearly identical to previously collected samples of Iranian attack drones.