US, UK and Israel blame Iran for ship attack; Tehran denies
The United States and the United Kingdom joined Israel on Aug. 1 in alleging Iran carried out a fatal drone strike on an oil tanker off the coast of Oman in the Arabian Sea, putting further pressure on Tehran as it denied being involved in the assault.
Calling it a "unlawful and callous attack," British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said his country and its allies planned a coordinated response over the strike Thursday night on the oil tanker Mercer Street. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken soon followed, saying there was "no justification for this attack, which follows a pattern of attacks and other belligerent behavior."
The strike on the Mercer Street marked the first-known fatal attack after years of assaults on commercial shipping in the region linked to tensions with Iran over its tattered nuclear deal.
While no one has claimed responsibility for the attack, Iran and its militia allies have used so-called "suicide" drones in attacks previously, which crash into targets and detonate their explosive payloads. However, Israel, the U.K. and the responding U.S. Navy have yet to show physical evidence from the strike or offer intelligence information on why they blame Tehran.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett went further than Blinken and Raab in his remarks Sunday at a Cabinet meeting, making a point to stare directly into the camera and slowly warn: "We know, at any rate, know how to convey the message to Iran in our own way."
The drone attack blasted a hole through the top of the oil tanker's bridge, where the captain and crew command the vessel, a U.S. official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity as an investigation into the attack still was ongoing. The blast killed two crew...