US cites evidence Iran attacked tanker
(Bloomberg) – The United States first cited evidence on Friday to support its claim that Iran was behind the deadly drone attack on an Israel-run tanker last week.
Several parts of the unmanned aerial vehicle that killed two crew members were recovered and “were almost identical to previously collected examples of Iranian one-way UAVs,” said Captain Bill Urban, a spokesman for the US Central Command. , in a press release. “US experts have concluded based on the evidence that this drone was produced in Iran. “
Two other drones targeting the ship failed, he said.
British and Israeli explosives experts had access to the evidence and endorsed the US findings, Urban said. Iran has denied being behind the July 29 attack on the tanker Mercer Street off the coast of Oman.
The US statement came as the United Nations Security Council met behind closed doors on Friday to discuss the attack.
“We know Iran is responsible for this attack,” British Ambassador Barbara Woodward told reporters at the UN in New York after the council meeting. “There is no justification for what happened: a state-sanctioned attack on a civilian vessel peacefully crossing international waters. “
But Iran’s deputy envoy to the UN, Zahra Ershadi, said her country “categorically” rejected the accusation, warning Israel against any military action that could lead to escalation in the region.
“Iran cautions against such adventurism and miscalculations,” she said. “Iran will not hesitate to defend itself and protect its national interests.”
Also on Friday, G7 foreign ministers issued a statement agreeing that “all available evidence clearly points to Iran.” The representatives of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan and the High Representative of the European Union said “there is no no justification for this attack ”and“ we will continue to do all we can to protect all ships, on which the global economy depends.
Tensions have intensified in and around the Persian Gulf waterways – vital to global oil markets – over the past week. The United States has promised a “collective response” with its allies but has not suggested what form that response will take.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said this week that Israel was ready to attack Iran if necessary, as his country pressed for a response to the drone attack.
(Updates with comments from British and Iranian envoys from sixth paragraph)
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