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Britain presents evidence of oil tanker attack at UN

Iran rejected the accusation and blamed Israel for destabilising the region, reports Asian Lite News

The UK’s UN Ambassador Barbara Woodward said that her country briefed the UN Security Council on the evidence it has about the attack against an oil tanker off the coast of Oman last week, which she said points to Iran.

“That evidence is clear-cut. The UK knows that Iran was responsible for this attack. We know it was deliberate and targeted,” she told reporters after the Security Council held closed-door consultations on the July 29 attack on Mercer Street, an oil tanker managed by an Israeli-owned company headquartered in London.

Asked to elaborate on the evidence, Woodward said: “We know that Iran was responsible for this attack. And the evidence, we are confident, based on our assessment of the debris that was recovered from the MV Mercer Street, that the system used in the attack was an Iranian Shahed-136 UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle), and these are manufactured only in Iran.”

There is no justification for what happened: a state-sanctioned attack on a civilian vessel passing peacefully through international waters, Xinhua news agency reported citing the envoy as saying.

UK’s UN Ambassador Barbara Woodward (Video grab)

“Iran’s activities, and its support to proxy forces and non-state armed actors, threaten international peace and security. The United Kingdom calls on Iran to stop these activities and calls on all parties to play a constructive role in fostering regional stability and peace,” said Woodward.

In response, Zahra Ershadi, the charge d’affaires ad interim of Iran’s permanent mission to the UN, rejected the accusation and blamed Israel for destabilising the region.

“We just heard a distorted statement about the Mercer Street vessel incident. We categorically reject the unfounded accusation of Israel on the Mercer Street vessel incident,” she said.

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“The Israeli regime cannot whitewash its destabilizing practices and vicious policies by blaming and accusing others.

“Immediately following this event, Israeli officials accused Iran of the incident. This is what they usually do. It is a standard practice of the Israeli regime. Its aim is to divert attention of the world public opinion from the regime’s crimes and inhumane practices in the region.

Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz

“To that end, they accuse others of wrongdoing. In almost all incidents in the Middle East, Israel accuses Iran. They do it immediately and provide no evidence. Playing victim, lying and deception are part of their toolbox.

“This regime has been the main source of threat, instability and insecurity in the region for over seven decades…

The Israeli regime also continues to brazenly threaten to use force against regional states. Again, its Defense Minister threatened to use force against Iran. Iran warns against any such adventurism and miscalculations. Yet, Iran will not hesitate to defend itself and secure its national interests,” Ershadi added.

The Security Council must prevent Israel’s unbridled adventurism in the region and it must also prove that it is not trapped by Israel’s deceptions and fabrications, she said.

Mercer Street was attacked on its way from Tanzania to the United Arab Emirates.

Two crew members — a Romanian national and a Briton — died in the attack.

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