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The U.S. has accused Iran of attacking the Mercer Street oil tanker

The United States expressed confidence in Iran's involvement in the attack on the Mercer Street oil tanker, which was carried out in the expanses of the Arabian Sea, as stated by American Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. The text of the corresponding appeal on Sunday, August 1, was shared by the press service of the US State Department.

The report notes that there is no justification for a deadly attack on a ship, and the corresponding military actions pose a threat to freedom of navigation, trade, and specialists who work on ships.

“Having studied the available information, we are confident that Iran carried out this attack, as a result of which two innocent people were killed, using unilateral explosive UAVs — a deadly tool that it is increasingly using throughout the region,” the US Secretary of State said in a message published on the US department's website.

At the moment, the US government, together with its partners, is conducting a number of consultations on further steps and a response to the incident, which, as noted in the text of the notification, “will be given in the near future.” Also, the publication of the US State Department expresses its strong condemnation of the attack on an oil tanker in solidarity with US partners and allies and condolences to the families of the victims on Mercer Street.

On the eve of July 31, Anthony Blinken, as part of the investigation of the attack on an oil tanker, agreed to cooperate with Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid.

On July 30, the Reuters news agency, citing intelligence sources, reported that American and European intelligence agencies suspect Iran of attacking an oil tanker. An agency source in the Pentagon indicated that the attack was probably carried out with the help of a drone.

The Financial Times newspaper, citing an unnamed American official, also reports that the attack could have been carried out with the help of a drone with explosives. In addition, another drone of the same type allegedly fell into the water a few dozen meters from the tanker a few hours earlier. This method of attack and several other signs, according to the source of the publication, indicate Iran's involvement in the incident.

Iran has not yet commented on the accusations against it.

On the night of July 29-30, the chemical tanker Mercer Street has attacked the Arabian Sea about 280 km from the coast of Oman. The tanker was traveling without cargo from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to the Arabian port of Fujairah. Mercer Street is owned by a Japanese shipowner and sails under the flag of Liberia. The company operating the Zodiac Maritime vessel, owned by Israeli entrepreneur Eyal Ofer, initially reported that it could be a pirate attack, but the Maritime Trade Organization of the United Kingdom (UKMTO) classifies the incident as not related to piracy.

Zodiac Maritime confirmed that as a result of the attack, two crew members were killed — a Romanian citizen and a British citizen, presumably responsible for protecting the ship. The operator has not yet reported the details of what happened, explaining that the details are being established.

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