UK Prime Minister Johnson Blames Iran For 'Outrageous Attack on Commercial Shipping'
11:44 GMT 02.08.2021 (Updated: 14:56 GMT 02.08.2021)
© AP Photo / Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Quinton A. LeeIn this photo provided by the U.S. Navy, sailors assigned to an explosive ordnance unit board an MH-60S Seahawk helicopter on the flight deck of aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan to head to an oil tanker that was attacked off the coast of Oman in the Arabian Sea on Friday, July 30, 2021.
© AP Photo / Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Quinton A. Lee
Last week, the Liberian-flagged Mercer Street oil tanker – en route to the UAE from Tanzania with no cargo onboard – was targeted off the coast of Oman, about 300 km southeast of Muscat.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday that Iran must bear responsibility for its "outrageous" attack on the Mercer Street oil tanker off the coast of Oman.
"Iran should face up to the consequences of what they've done...This was clearly an unacceptable and outrageous attack on commercial shipping... A UK national died. It is absolutely vital that Iran and every other country, respects the freedoms of navigation around the world and the UK will continue to insist on that," Johnson told the media.
Earlier on Monday, Iran's ambassador to the UK was summoned to the Foreign Office after an attack on an Israel-linked oil tanker.
"Minister (James) Cleverly reiterated 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," the Foreign Office said in a statement.
This comes after both the UK and US accused Iran of attacking the Mercer Street tanker. According to the US Navy, the vessel was hit by a suicide drone. On Saturday, Israel reportedly shared intelligence with the UK and US proving Iran's alleged role in the attack. Tehran has vehemently denied any involvement in the incident. The Iranian Foreign Ministry on Monday summoned an adviser to the UK ambassador to Iran over London’s statements alleging Tehran’s involvement in the attack, the Tasnim news agency reports.
Last Thursday, the Mercer Street tanker, which was sailing from Tanzania to the United Arab Emirates with no cargo onboard, was struck off the coast of Oman, about 300 km southeast of Muscat. One Romanian and one British national were killed as a result. The oil tanker is Liberian-flagged and managed by Zodiac Maritime, a London-based company owned by Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer.