Foreign ministers of the Group of Seven (G7) nations said on Friday that all evidence of the recent attack on an oil tanker in the Arabian Sea “clearly points to Iran,” and that the regime’s behaviour is a threat to international peace and security.
“We condemn the unlawful attack committed on a merchant vessel off the coast of Oman on 29 July, which killed a British and a Romanian national,” foreign ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the High Representative of the European Union said in a statement.
The attack on Mercer Street, a Liberian-flagged oil tanker managed by London-based and Israeli-owned company Zodiac Maritime, is the first known fatal attack after years of assaults on commercial shipping in the region linked to tensions with the Islamic regime over its tattered nuclear deal.
“This was a deliberate and targeted attack, and a clear violation of international law. All available evidence clearly points to Iran. There is no justification for this attack,” G7 foreign ministers said.
The ministers said that their nations will continue to do their “utmost” to protect shipping from threats from “irresponsible and violent acts.”
“Iran’s behaviour, alongside its support to proxy forces and non-state armed actors, threatens international peace and security,” the ministers said, calling on the Iranian regime to stop all activities inconsistent with relevant UN Security Council [UNSC] resolutions, and on “all parties to play a constructive role in fostering regional stability and peace.”
The UK, Romania, and Liberia on Wednesday wrote to UNSC president T. S. Tirumurti, saying the council “must respond” to the attack.
UNSC is due to discuss the attack in its meeting on Friday, according to the official Twitter account of the UK’s Mission to the UN.
While no one has claimed responsibility for the attack, Iran and its militia allies have used so-called “suicide” drones in attacks previously, which crash into targets and detonate their explosive payloads.
Israel was the first country to have blamed Iran after the fatal attack. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that Israeli intelligence has evidence to support the allegation, but did not elaborate.
NATO on Tuesday condemned the attack and extended condolences, saying that “the United Kingdom, the United States, and Romania have concluded that Iran is highly likely responsible for this incident.”
The Iranian regime has denied involvement, calling the allegations “baseless.”
Other Israel-linked ships have been targeted in recent months as well amid a shadow war between the two nations, with Israeli officials blaming the Islamic Republic for the assaults. Shipping in the region began being targeted in the summer of 2019.
Israel meanwhile has been suspected of conducting a series of major attacks in Iran and on Iranian shipping. Also, Iran saw its largest warship recently sink under mysterious circumstances in the nearby Gulf of Oman.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.