Escalation Between Iran And West After Iranian Attack On Oil Tanker
IRAN - After an Iranian attack on an Israeli managed oil tanker Mercer Street that killed two people, the West, including Israel and the United states has vowed a 'collective' response as escalation, or 'stepping up' of hostilities between the west and Iran continue to mount.
US and Israel both say that their intelligence has verified that the attack carried out Thursday on the Mercer Street oil tanker off the coast of Oman was indeed an Iranian drone attack that killed one UK citizen and one Romanian.
US forces boarded the Mercer Street and conducted a full investigation of the incident and came to the same conclusion as Israeli forces during their own investigation on the drone attack.
Central Command had stated, "US Navy explosives experts are aboard to ensure there is no additional danger to the crew, and are prepared to support an investigation into the attack. Initial indications clearly point to a UAV-style (drone) attack".
The drone blew a hole through the oil tankers bridge where the Captain and command crew command the ship, according to a U.S. Official after the investigation of the incident was carried out by U.S. Forces.
Benny Gantz in addressing the Israeli parliament stated that the attack was in "in violation of international law and human morality" and said that Iran has been behind at least five other attacks on shipping vessels this year.
Gantz said, "This is exactly the reason why we must act now against Iran, which is not only striving toward nuclear arms, but is also bringing about a dangerous arms race and intends to destabilize the Middle East with terrorist militias who are armed with hundreds of drones in Iran, Yemen, Iraq and other countries in the region".
He also warned that future agreements between world powers an the Iranian government addressing its nuclear program should also address Iran's "aggression in the region and harming both innocent people and to the global economy". and stated, "This is not a future threat, rather a tangible and immediate danger".
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett stated of the attack, "We expect the international community to clarify to the Iranian regime that it made a terrible mistake. We have our ways of getting the message to Iran. I say absolutely that Iran is the one that carried out the attack against the ship".
Bennett also said, "The thuggish behavior of Iran is dangerous not only to Israel but also to the global interest in freedom of shipping and international trade".
The United States, Israel and Britain have all pointed the finger at Iran for the attack on the Mercer Street oil tanker after their investigations, yet Iran continues to deny that they had any part in the 'suicide drone' attack on the ship.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that he was "confident that Iran carried out this attack", and stated "It follows a pattern of similar attacks by Iran, including past incidents with explosive drones. There is no justification for this attack on a peaceful vessel on a commercial mission, international waters rise action is a direct threat to freedom of navigation and commerce, took the lives of innocent sailors".
Blinken also said that the United States is in close contact with the United Kingdom, Israel and Romania and that there will be a 'collective response' but did not go into further detail about what that response will entail.
Meanwhile, Iran says that they are ready to deliver a "strong and "crushing" response militarily if any hostile country were to move against Iran as a result of the attack.
Iran's State controlled media stated, "This is not the first time that the Zionist regime has made such accusations against Iran. This regime has taken violence and insecurity with it wherever it has gone".
The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke to reporters saying, "I think that Iran should face up to the consequences of what they've done" and stated that it was an "unacceptable and outrageous attack".