U.S. and U.K. accuse Iran of launching deadly tanker attack near Oman

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Update on U.S.-Iraq tensions

U.S. and U.K. blame Iran Drones attacked tankers In the Gulf region, a British and a Romanian were killed in an attack, which could exacerbate tensions between Tehran and the West.

Washington and London said in separate statements on Sunday that they are working with partners to respond to the attack on MV Mercer Street last week. The ship is managed by Israel-owned Zodiac Maritime because it is located in international waters near Oman.

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Brinken stated that Washington “believes that Iran launched the attack.” He added that such actions “threaten the freedom of navigation in this critical waterway, international shipping and commerce, and the lives of people on board related vessels.”

His British colleague Dominic Raab stated that the UK believed the attack was “deliberate, targeted, and a clear violation of Iran’s international law”.

“Iran must end such attacks and must allow ships to sail freely in accordance with international law,” Raab said. “The UK is working with our international partners to jointly respond to this unacceptable attack.”

Israel had previously blamed Iran for the attack. Tehran rejected Israel’s claims on Sunday, and Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs added that the Jewish country should know that it “sows the wind and reaps the whirlwind”.

Enemies in these two regions were involved in a shadow war, and both countries accused the other of targeting their ships.

Iran also accused Israel of assassinating a top nuclear scientist and attacking its main uranium enrichment base at the Natanz nuclear facility.

The British Foreign Office stated that “reports indicate” that at least three Israeli-related ships have been attacked in the area since February.

It added that Iran is “almost certainly responsible for the attack on two ships in the Gulf of Oman in 2019”. These attacks have disturbed the global shipping and oil industry, because the Gulf waterways, especially the Strait of Hormuz, are important trade routes and crude oil export points in oil-rich regions.

The limited losses caused by the 2019 tanker attack occurred one year after the then U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear agreement signed between Tehran and the world powers and imposed waves of severe sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

Hope the tension will ease after the presidential election Joe Biden promises If Iran fully abides by the agreement again, the United States will rejoin the 2015 nuclear agreement.

As Tehran has had a series of talks with the remaining signatories of the agreement, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China, the Biden administration has been in indirect negotiations with Iran to return to the nuclear agreement.

But a deadly attack on an oil tanker may complicate the complex and fragile process.

Since the hard-line clergyman Ebrahim Raisi won the Iranian presidential election in June, nuclear negotiations have effectively been put on hold. Raisi takes office this week, Succeeding Hassan Rouhani (Hassan Rouhani), the latter is a pragmatist, he is the creator of the nuclear agreement, has completed his second and final term.

Raisy said that he will continue to negotiate a nuclear agreement. However, since the hardline party has a cautious attitude towards contact with the West and completely controls the state’s ownership, Tehran will take a tougher stance. Iran insists that the United States must lift all sanctions before reducing nuclear activities under the 2015 agreement.

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