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Iran 'should face up to the consequences': UK premier

'This was clearly an unacceptable and outrageous attack on commercial shipping. A UK national died,' says Boris Johnson

Karim El-Bar   | 02.08.2021
Iran 'should face up to the consequences': UK premier UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson ( FILE PHOTO - Anadolu Agency )

LONDON

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told local media on Monday that Iran “should face up to the consequences” of its actions after an attack on an oil tanker led to the death of a British national.

Yesterday, the UK and Israel accused Iran of carrying out a deadly drone attack last week in the Indian Ocean on an oil tanker owned by an Israeli magnate's company.

Johnson said: “I think that Iran should face up to the consequences of what they’ve done, accept the attribution that the foreign secretary has made.

“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 made his comments after Iran’s ambassador was summoned to the Foreign Office this morning for a meeting with James Cleverly, foreign office minister of state for the Middle East and North Africa.

A spokesperson said: “Minister 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.”

Two crew members of the oil tanker Mercer Street, owned by Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer’s Zodiac Group, were killed in the attack in the Indian Ocean while the vessel was en route from Tanzania to the United Arab Emirates, the company said Friday. One of the crew members was a British national.

The attack blasted a hole through the top of the tanker’s bridge, where the captain and crew were located.

The US aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and the guided missile destroyer USS Mitscher escorted the Mercer Street to a nearby port.

UK, Israel blame Iran for deadly ship attack

"The UK condemns the unlawful and callous attack committed on a merchant vessel off the coast of Oman, which killed a British and a Romanian national. Our thoughts are with the friends and family of those killed in the incident," UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said in a statement yesterday.

"We believe this attack was deliberate, targeted, and a clear violation of international law by Iran," he said, urging Tehran to end such attacks.

"The UK is working with our international partners on a concerted response to this unacceptable attack," he added.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett accused Iran of being responsible for the attack at a Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. He claimed to have evidence of Tehran's involvement, warning that his country could “send a message” in retaliation.

“The intelligence evidence for this exists, and we expect the international community will make it clear to the Iranian regime that they have made a serious mistake,” Bennett said.

In recent months, many attacks on commercial vessels have been reported and linked to ongoing heightened tensions between Israel and Iran.

*Writing by Ali Murat Alhas

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