On July 29, an Israeli charter tanker was attacked by drones, killing two crew members. Israel accuses Iran and wants to take the matter to the UN.
Israel has called for international action against Iran after a deadly attack in the Arabian Sea on an oil tanker run by an Israeli billionaire, accusing Tehran of “terrorism.”
The shipowner Zodiac Maritime, owned by the Israeli Eyal Ofer, announced on July 30 “the death of two members of the crew: a Romanian national and a British national” during an incident on board the M / T Mercer Street, reported, according to the UKMTO maritime operations website, on July 29.
The US military said it responded to a distress call, adding that forces had visited the scene and saw evidence of an attack. The first findings “clearly indicate” a drone-type attack.
The attack was not claimed but the company Dryad Global, specializing in maritime security, spoke of new “reprisals in the shadow war between the two enemy powers”, with reference to Iran and Israel.
Israel denounces Iran
“I gave instructions to the embassies in Washington, London and the UN so that they work with their government interlocutors and the competent delegations at the UN headquarters in New York”, indicated the Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs. , Yair Lapid, July 30 on Twitter.
“Iran is not an Israeli problem only, but an exporter of terrorism, destruction and instability that hurts everyone,” he accused before adding: “We must never remain silent in the face of Iranian terrorism, which also undermines the freedom of navigation. ”
Yair Lapid said he spoke with his British counterpart Dominic Raab about “the need for a harsh response to the attack in which a British citizen was killed”.
the Mercer street was sailing without cargo from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania to Fujairah (United Arab Emirates), when he was targeted, according to Zodiac Maritime, which operates the Japanese vessel flying the Liberian flag.
In Iran, according to AFP, state television quoted “informed sources in the region” that the attack was in response to a “recent Israeli attack” in Syria – where Tehran supports the power of Bashar al-Assad in the war – without giving more details.
The attack appears to have been carried out by several drones which crashed into the living space below the ship’s command center, the US newspaper said. The New York Times, citing anonymous Israeli sources.
“We were the first to develop drones and among the first to have developed the concept of (drone) kamikaze, and the Iranians are imitating us and adopting the same techniques”, for his part affirmed to the ‘AFP retired General Shlomo Brom, researcher at the Institute for National Security Studies in Israel.
The tanker is now sailing “under the control of its crew to a safe place, with an American naval escort,” Zodiac Maritime announced on July 30 in the afternoon.
A series of attacks in the region
Analysts have made the connection between this attack and previous incidents. Two ships operated by the Israeli company Ray Shipping were attacked earlier this year.
In the United States, Joe Biden’s administration has remained cautious. “We are monitoring the situation closely,” said State Department spokeswoman Jalina Porter.
The attack came as talks resumed in April in Vienna to revive the 2015 international nuclear deal, which was supposed to prevent Tehran from acquiring the atomic bomb.
The pact has been dying since former US President Donald Trump withdrew the United States unilaterally from it in 2018, reimposing severe sanctions on Iran, which began to withdraw in retaliation.
But the discussions underway in Vienna, in which Washington is indirectly participating, seem to be blocked until the new Iranian president, Ebrahim Raïssi, takes office in early August.