Oil tanker assault: British particular forces investigating suspected Iranian assault on MV Mercer Road

Mercer Street. File pic: Johan Victor/AP

2021-08-02 23:30:00

British particular forces are serving to to analyze a suspected Iranian assault on an Israeli-linked oil tanker within the Arabian Sea that left a UK nationwide useless, Sky Information understands.

The workforce, which relies within the area, was anticipated to have arrived on Monday on the as-yet undisclosed website the place the MV Mercer Road vessel is situated.

The deployment of a particular forces workforce to help within the response to the assault off the coast of Oman final Thursday is an indication of the delicate nature of the investigation and the experience required.

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‘Iran ought to withstand the implications’ – PM

It got here as Britain’s prime minister mentioned Iran should “withstand the implications” of its actions, whereas Tehran warned it could reply “promptly and strongly” to any menace towards its safety.

Iran has denied any involvement within the assault after the UK, the US and Israel instantly accused it of finishing up the assault with a number of drones. Two folks had been killed – a British safety guard on the vessel and a Romanian crew member.

Boris Johnson mentioned: “This was clearly an unacceptable and outrageous assault on business delivery.”

The UK has promised a “concerted response”. Israel – which is already locked in a shadow battle with Iran – known as on Monday for worldwide motion.

In London, Iran’s ambassador to the UK, Mohsen Baharvand, was summoned to the International, Commonwealth and Improvement Workplace round noon over the incident.

He met with James Cleverly, the International Workplace minister for the Center East.

“Minister Cleverly reiterated that Iran should instantly stop actions that danger worldwide peace and safety, and bolstered that vessels have to be allowed to navigate freely in accordance with worldwide regulation,” a International Workplace spokesperson mentioned.

James Cleverly
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Iranian ambassador to the UK, Mohsen Baharvand, was summoned to a gathering with minister James Cleverly (pictured)

When an envoy is summoned for a rebuke she or he sometimes meets with the everlasting secretary. The truth that this assembly was with a minister was supposed to mirror a heightened sense of concern.

Zodiac Maritime, the Israeli-owned UK firm that managed the Mercer Road tanker, has given no additional replace on the state of affairs since Friday when it mentioned the vessel was crusing beneath the management of its crew with a US naval escort to a “protected location”.

No footage have but emerged of the ship because it was hit. It’s thought {that a} drone was crashed into bridge, killing the British guard and Romanian crew member.

Yair Lapid is set to be handed the reins in two years time
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Israeli international minister Yair Lapid blamed ‘Iranian terrorism’ for the assault

It’s the first recognized deadly assault after years of assaults on business delivery within the area linked to tensions between Israel and Iran.

International Secretary Dominic Raab accused Iran of finishing up a “deliberate, focused” assault, which constituted “a transparent violation of worldwide regulation”, and has promised to work with allies on a “concerted response”.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken additionally mentioned he was contemplating “subsequent steps” with the UK and different allies, with “an applicable response… forthcoming”.

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Govt blames Iran for tanker assault

The assembly with Mr Cleverly follows a weekend of discussions amongst high-level officers on how finest to reply to the incident.

The top of the British armed forces, Common Sir Nick Carter, held discussions along with his Israeli counterpart on Sunday.

In the meantime, the federal government held a Cobra emergency assembly on the degree of officers over the weekend in an indication of the intense give attention to the tanker assault, Sky Information understands.

There’s not but been a Cobra attended by ministers, which is what occurs within the gravest of crises.

The International Workplace mentioned the drone assault adopted comparable assaults on three different Israeli-linked ships within the area since February and there are issues that tensions are growing.

Iran prior to now has repeatedly been accused of focusing on tankers within the Gulf. The nation has been locked in a tit-for-tat contest with Israel, with either side accusing the opposite of focusing on ships and launching cyber assaults.

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