First modification: 08/01/2021 – 20:53
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett blamed Iran directly on Sunday for the drone attack on a tanker off the coast of Oman. Bennett even threatened to retaliate for the event that occurred last Thursday in which two people were killed. However, Tehran responded that it was not involved in the assault and that the accusations are “empty”.
The historic tensions between Israel and Iran grow after the assault on a Liberian-flagged oil tanker linked to an Israeli billionaire, which occurred off the coast of Oman, in the Arabian Sea. The dispute was joined by Prime Minister Naftali Bemmett on Sunday, who directly accused the Islamic Republic of the assault.
“The Iranians who attacked Mercer Street with drones had the intention of damaging an Israeli target … Instead, their act of piracy resulted in the death of a British citizen and a Romanian citizen,” Bennett said at the beginning of the meeting. weekly with his cabinet.
Bennett went further and threatened Tehran with retaliation against him. “In any case, we know how to get the message across to Iran in our own way,” he said.
On Saturday, Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid also held Tehran responsible.
Although no one has claimed responsibility for the incident, which took place on Thursday night and in which two crew members were killed, Iran and its allied militiamen have used so-called “suicide” drones in previous attacks, the United States, Israel and other governments note. .
In fact, hours after the attack, a US official pointed out that the fact that a “suicide drone” had been used was an indication that a government or a group of militias would be behind it.
Maritime assaults of this type have been recorded since 2019 amid the collapse of the Iranian nuclear deal with world powers. The recent attack marked the first known fatal attack after years of assaults on commercial shipping in the region, linked to tensions with Tehran.
Iran blames Israel for making “empty accusations”
In the last hours, the spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran, Saeed Khatibzadeh, responded to the Israeli premier that his accusations are “unfounded”.
“It is not the first time that the Zionist regime occupying Jerusalem has made such empty accusations against the Islamic Republic of Iran (…) Wherever this regime has gone, it has brought with it instability, terror and violence,” said Khatibzadeh, during his last press conference as spokesman for the Foreign Ministry of his country.
Khatibzadeh made the remarks in a speech that lasted about an hour after Iran’s outgoing President Hasan Rohani acknowledged that his government sometimes “did not tell part of the truth” to the public during his tenure.
Mercer Street, the attacked ship, is managed by London-based Zodiac Maritime, part of Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer’s Zodiac group.
The drone impact opened a hole in the upper part of the tanker’s bridge, where the captain and crew commanded the vessel, according to a US official who spoke on condition of anonymity as the investigation is still ongoing.
It all happened while the US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and the guided-missile destroyer USS Mitscher escorted the ship. At that time they were heading to a safe port, according to a statement by the Fifth Fleet of the United States Navy based in the Middle East.
With Reuters and AP