US and Israel discuss Mercer Street oil tanker incident
WASHINGTON, BM – US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz discussed the incident with the Mercer Street tanker in the Ottoman Gulf, which killed two people, according to a statement released by the Pentagon on Friday.
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“Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz today about Iran’s July 29 attack on the Mercer Street tanker, which killed two innocent people,” it said.
The parties “expressed concern about Iran’s proliferation and use of combat unmanned aerial vehicles throughout the region and pledged to continue close cooperation in the field of regional security.”
“They agreed to work together with allies and partners to condemn Iran’s aggression, undermining freedom of navigation, and exchanged views on the next steps,” the statement said.
Last week, the Japanese tanker Mercer Street, sailing unloaded from Dar es Salaam to Fujairah, was attacked in the northern Indian Ocean. As a result, two crew members died – a British citizen and a Romanian citizen.
On August 1, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Iran was responsible for the attack on the tanker. The USA and Great Britain took the same position.
Meanwhile, the Iranian Foreign Ministry warned against attempts to damage the country’s sovereignty. Ministry spokesman Said Khatibzadeh also stated that Iran “deeply regrets the groundless accusations made by the British Foreign Minister against the Islamic Republic of Iran, repeated by the US Secretary of State in the same context and containing contradictory, false and provocative claims.”
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