U.S. and U.K. accuse Iran of drone attacks on tankers

Secretary of State Anthony Brinken and British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab Say On Sunday, the United States and the United Kingdom now separately believe that Iran may be responsible for the drone attack on an oil tanker in the Arabian Sea last week.

Why is it important: The United States and Britain now join Israel in accusing Tehran of being behind the attack off the coast of Oman on July 29. Iran denies involvement.

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Driving news: The merchant ship “Mercer Street” was hit twice. The first attack did not cause any damage, but the second attack hit the crew’s room.

  • Two people died, one Romanian national and one British national.

  • “After reviewing existing information, we believe that Iran used a one-way explosive drone to carry out this attack, killing two innocent people. This is a lethal capability it is increasingly employing throughout the region,” Brinken Said on Sunday.

Between the lines: The ship is owned by a Japanese company but managed by Zodiac Maritime, which is owned by Israel. Israeli officials claim that this is why the tanker has become a target.

  • In the past 18 months, Israel and Iran have been conducting attacks at sea. Israel has attacked many Iranian ships carrying oil and alleged weapons to Syria. In recent months, Iran has begun to retaliate, allegedly attacking ships owned by Israeli businessmen.

What are they talking about: On Sunday morning, a spokesperson for the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied that Iran had any connection with the attack.

  • Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Sunday that he “clearly” believed that “Iran was the one who attacked the ship.” Every Bloomberg.

  • “We hope that the international community will clarify to the Iranian regime that it has made a terrible mistake. We have our own way of conveying information to Iran,” he added.

  • Raab’s statement stated that the United Kingdom believed that the attack was “deliberate and targeted by Iran and clearly violated international law.”

  • “Iran must end such attacks and must allow ships to sail freely in accordance with international law,” Raab said.

What’s next: Raab said the UK is working with its partners to “make a consistent response.” Israeli and British diplomats told Axios that the next step would be to try to convene a meeting of the UN Security Council.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with new information.

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