The Iranian ambassador to Britain was summoned to the Foreign Office in London on Monday, in response to a drone attack last week on an Israeli-linked commercial tanker in which a British national and a Romanian national were killed.
Britain, Romania, the United States, and Israel have all pointed their fingers at Iran for Thursday’s attack by unmanned drones on the Mercer Street tanker as it transited near Oman. It was not carrying cargo at the time.
The tanker is operated by British-based Zodiac Maritime, whose chairperson is Israeli businessperson Eyal Ofer.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said at the weekend that Tehran had “intended to attack an Israeli target.”
“The Iranian ambassador to the UK, Mohsen Baharvand, was summoned today to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office by the minister for the Middle East, James Cleverly, in response to the unlawful attack committed on MV Mercer Street on July 29,” a British Foreign Office statement read.
“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.”
Tehran has repeatedly denied any involvement and did so again on Monday following statements late on Sunday from the governments of Britain and the U.S. that blamed Iran.
“The insinuations by the British and U.S. foreign ministers are baseless and a political provocation that we condemn in the strongest terms,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh said. (dpa/NAN)