Fri, 17 Sep 2021

Qatar has condemned a deadly attack on an oil tanker off the coast of Oman that the West has blamed on Iran.

The Qatari Foreign Ministry also called for resorting to international law to ensure that such attacks would not be repeated.

The ministry said in a statement that Qatar totally rejects 'actions that would disrupt the safety and security of international maritime transport and impede the movement of ships and tankers.'

The United States, Israel, and Britain blamed Iran for the attack on an Israeli-managed tanker off the coast of Oman on July 29.

Tehran has denied any involvement in the suspected drone attack on the ship that killed two crew members, a Briton and a Romanian, and warned on August 2 that it would respond swiftly to any threat to its security.

Britain on August 2 summoned the Iranian ambassador over what London and allies say was an attack on the Mercer Street, a Liberian-flagged, Japanese-owned tanker managed by Israeli-owned Zodiac Maritime.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the Iranians should 'face up to the consequences of what they've done,' condemning the 'unacceptable and outrageous attack' on the ship.

Iran warned that it would not hesitate to protect its security and national interests.

Iranian television quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Said Khatibzadeh as saying he 'strongly regretted the baseless accusations made by the British foreign secretary against Iran, which were repeated by the U.S. secretary of state in the same context and contained contradictory, false, and provocative accusations.'

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said there was 'no justification for this attack,' which he said was an indication that Iran 'continues to act with tremendous irresponsibility when it comes to, in this instance, threats to navigation, to commerce, to innocent sailors who are simply engaged in commercial transit in international waters.'

Blinken added that there 'will be a collective response.'

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett accused Tehran of a 'cowardly' denial of responsibility, while Foreign Minister Yair Lapid suggested the attack merited a harsh response.

With reporting by Reuters and AFP

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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