US military proves Iran carried out tanker attack

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The strike by explosives-laden drones on the MT Mercer Street last week killed the vessel’s Romanian captain and a British security guard, and sparked international outrage….reports Asian Lite News

Defiant Iranian leaders were confronted on Saturday with mounting evidence that Tehran was behind a deadly attack on an Israeli-operated tanker off the coast of Oman.

The strike by explosives-laden drones on the MT Mercer Street last week killed the vessel’s Romanian captain and a British security guard, and sparked international outrage.

Photographs of drone parts, analysis of the proximity of the strikes to Iran, and the sophistication of the attack point to Iran’s involvement, according to a new report by the US Central Command (CENTCOM), which oversees military operations in the Middle East.

Debris found on and close to the damaged tanker was “identical to previously identified Iranian unmanned one-way attack systems,” the report said.

“The use of Iranian designed and produced one-way attack ‘kamikaze’ UAVs is a growing trend in the region … They are actively used by Iran and their proxies against coalition forces in the region, to include targets in Saudi Arabia and Iraq,” it said.

“The distance from the Iranian coast to the location of the attacks was within the range of documented Iranian one-way attack UAVs,” it said.

The detailed accusations were based on findings by investigators from the US aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan following a visit to the Mercer Street.  The investigators said it appeared the tanker had been hit by three drones. British and Israeli explosives experts, who were given access to the evidence, agreed with the US findings, CENTCOM said.

The report followed accusations on Friday by the G7 group of nations that Iran was threatening international peace and security, and that all available evidence showed it was behind the attack on the Mercer Street. “This was a deliberate and targeted attack, and a clear violation of international law … There is no justification for this attack,” the G7 foreign ministers said

Despite the evidence, Iran on Saturday denied involvement in the attack, and accused Israel of concocting the “scenario” in an attempt to undermine the Islamic republic.

“We strongly condemn the baseless statement by the foreign ministers of the G7 and the European Union’s high representative for foreign affairs in which they have directed baseless accusations at Iran,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said.

The tanker attack and the accusations against Iran were a “scenario” concocted with “notable” timing, he said, days before Iran’s new President Ebrahim Raisi was sworn in.

“For experts and those who know the history of this region, it is not a new thing that Israel would design such conspiracies,” Khatibzadeh said.

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