Mercer Street oil tanker after being hit in alleged Iranian attack off the coast of Oman last week

NATO condemns attack on oil tanker off the coast of Oman

Alliance expressed condolences to Romania and the UK for the death of their citizens saying in a statement that freedom of navigation is vital for all NATO Allies, and must be upheld in accordance with international law

Ynet |
Published: 08.03.21, 12:05
NATO on Tuesday strongly condemned the recent fatal attack on the MT Mercer Street off the coast of Oman.
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  • NATO also expressed its condolences to Romania and the United Kingdom for the death of their citizens.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    ספינת MERCER STREET שהותקפה
    ספינת MERCER STREET שהותקפה
    Mercer Street oil tanker after being hit in alleged Iranian attack off the coast of Oman last week
    "Freedom of navigation is vital for all NATO Allies, and must be upheld in accordance with international law.," NATO said in a statement.
    "The United Kingdom, the United States, and Romania have concluded that Iran is highly likely responsible for this incident. Allies remain concerned by Iran's destabilizing actions in the region, and call on Tehran to respect its international obligations," the statement went on to say.
    The British newspaper the Daily Mirror on Tuesday reported that British commanders arrived in the Middle East over the weekend to draw up plans for a UK special forces strike mission against a terror team that attacked an Israeli-operated tanker last week
    The paper added that a joint British-American force will conduct a “kill or capture” manhunt after the suspected terrorists.
    On Friday, an attack by explosive laden drones, on the Israeli-operated MT Mercer Street killed a British national and a Romanian citizen.
    The U.S., Britain and Israel have all said Iran was behind the attack, though the Iranian Foreign Ministry denied the accusations.
    According to the report in the Mirror, Israeli intelligence pinpointed the area from which the suspected drones were thought to have been launched from.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    חיילים אמריקאים נכנסים למסוק
    חיילים אמריקאים נכנסים למסוק
    American forces entering aircraft on rout to assist oil tanker hit by an attack attributed to Iran last week
    (Photo: Reuters)
    The military response could involve "several dozen members of Britain’s most elite special forces operators and possibly electronic warfare specialists equipped to listen in on communications and a UK forces unmanned aircraft team," the paper said adding that UK Head of the Armed Forces Gen. Sir Nick Carter held a meeting with his Israeli counterpart Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi on Sunday.
    On Monday U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said there would be a "collective response" to the attack that he called a "direct threat to freedom of navigation and commerce".
    "We are in very close contact, in coordination, with the United Kingdom, Israel, Romania and other countries. And there will be a collective response," Blinken told reporters.
    UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Iran “must face up to the consequences” of its actions.
    “This is clearly an unacceptable and outrageous attack on commercial shipping – a UK national died,” Johnson said on Monday.
    The Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office summoned Iran's Ambassador to Britain Mohsen Baharvand.
    Minister for the Middle East, James Cleverly told the ambassador that Iran must immediately cease actions that risk international peace and security, and reinforced that vessels must be allowed to navigate freely in accordance with international law.
    On Sunday Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the attack was " a deliberate, targeted, and a clear violation of international law by Iran. UK assessments have concluded that it is highly likely that Iran attacked the MV Mercer Street in international waters off Oman on 29 July using one or more unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)."
    "The UK is working with our international partners on a concerted response to this unacceptable attack." Raab said in a Twitter post.
    Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said over the weekend that the world needs to stand up to Iran after the incident.
    "Iran isn't only an Israeli problem but an exporter of terror, destruction and instability which harms the entire world. We must never remain silent in the face of Iranian terrorism," he said.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    ספינת MERCER STREET שהותקפה
    ספינת MERCER STREET שהותקפה
    Aftermath of an attack attributed to Iran on the Mercer Street oil tanker off the coast of Oman last week
    On Monday Defense Minister Benny Gantz said a forceful response would come quickly.
    In an address in the Knesset Gantz said Iranian attacks on maritime traffic occurred five time this year, already.
    “Iran, under the ‘hangman’ [Ebrahim] Raisi, will be more dangerous to the world than it has been so far," the Defense Minister said adding the Islamic Republic will be more destructive to the region."
    "Israel possesses a variety of tools and options to protect its citizens, and we will hold accountable anyone who seeks to harm us, in the time, place and methods that serve us and our security,” Gantz said.

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