The foreign ministers of the seven countries state that "all available evidence clearly points to the Islamic Republic"

G7 accuses Iran of tanker attack near Oman

AFP/JONNY WEEKS - Leaders at the G7 summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, Britain, on June 10, 2021

The attack on a tanker near Oman on 29 July continues to provoke international reactions. The first countries to condemn the attack on the 'Mercer Street' were Israel, the United States and the United Kingdom, which blamed Iran for the action. Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid stressed on his Twitter account shortly after the attack that "Iran is not just an Israeli problem, but an exporter of terrorism, destruction and instability that is harming us all. We must never be silent in the face of Iranian terrorism, which also harms freedom of navigation".

The ship, christened Mercer Street and owned by Japan, was operated by Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer's Zodiac Maritime. Israel has pressed the West to issue a clear international condemnation of the Islamic Republic for the attack. For its part, the United States, a staunch ally of Israel in the region, has backed Israel's accusations against Iran and declared itself "certain" that the Islamic Republic was responsible for the attack on the tanker off the coast of Oman, which killed two people, and said it would soon issue an "appropriate response". 


In a statement, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that, after analysing the available information, the US "is certain that Iran perpetrated the attack" and is working with its partners to "consider next steps" and determine the "appropriate response". "There is no justification for this attack, which follows a pattern of attacks and other bellicose behaviour".

In a statement, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said he was working with allies internationally to agree "a concerted response to this unacceptable attack". "UK assessments have concluded that it is highly likely that Iran attacked the MV 'Mercer Street' in international waters near Oman on 29 July, using one or more unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)," he said. Raab stressed that "Iran must stop these kinds of attacks and ships must be able to sail freely under international law". "We believe this was a deliberate, targeted attack in clear violation of international law by Iran," he added.


The Group of Seven (G7) has also ultimately condemned the actions off the coast of Oman and blamed Iran for the attack on the tanker. In a joint statement the foreign ministers of the seven countries including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union maintain that "all available evidence clearly points to Iran". The official note also highlights the G7's commitment "to maritime security and the protection of commercial shipping" and stresses that "there is no justification for this attack".

"Ships must be able to sail freely in accordance with international law. We will continue to do all we can to protect all shipping, on which the global economy depends, so that it can operate freely and without being threatened by irresponsible and violent acts," the communiqué said. 

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Finally, the G7 condemns Iran's behaviour, maintaining that the Islamic Republic "together with its support for proxy forces and armed non-state actors, threatens international peace and security". The G7 has demanded that Iran cease "all activities incompatible with relevant UN Security Council resolutions".

For its part, Iran has rejected all accusations and speaks of "psychological warfare". The head of the Iranian presidential office, Mahmoud Vaezi, has urged US President Joe Biden to move away from the policies of his predecessor Donald Trump and not to give in to the wishes of the Hebrew country. "The US return to the nuclear deal and the lifting of sanctions (against Iran) is a matter that is strongly opposed by the Zionist regime and some Arab countries in the region hostile (to Tehran), such as Saudi Arabia," Vaezi stressed.