Israel pushes for UNSC condemnation of Iranian maritime terrorism 


Israel is pushing for a United Nations Security Council condemnation against Tehran for Friday’s attack on an Israeli-managed petroleum products tanker attacked off the coast of Oman, which it believes was carried out by Iranian drones.

The Romanian captain of the ship, called Mercer Street, and a British crew member were killed in the attack. They are the first causalities in the ongoing maritime violence between Iran and Israel.

According to a diplomatic source, Israel is “working with other countries, especially Britain and the United States, and more to advance the Security Council’s discussion on this serious terrorist act by Iran that joins its other actions that call into question and endanger all maritime security and free trade.”

Israel’s Ambassador to the United States and the United Nations Gilad Erdan intends to send an official letter of complaint to the UNSC to request a meeting and the issuance of a condemnation.

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid has instructed the embassies in London, Washington and New York to discuss the need for a diplomatic response with the relevant parties in the British and American governments as well as at the UN.

Israel is underscoring the message that Iran poses a danger to world peace and this attack violates navigational freedom and is a threat to international trade. 

Lapid has spoken with his British, Romanian and US counterparts, but none of those countries have clearly fingered Iran.

After his conversation Saturday with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Lapid tweeted the following. “We are working together against Iranian terrorism, which poses a threat to all of us, by formulating a real and effective international response.”

“Iran has time and again underestimated Israel’s determination to defend itself and its interests,” Lapid wrote.

“Foreign Ministry officials are working in all the relevant arenas to promote international condemnation and response,” he wrote. 

US State Department spokesman Ned Price said Blinken and Lapid had “agreed to work with the UK, Romania, and other international partners to investigate the facts, provide support, and consider the appropriate next steps.”

U.S. and European sources familiar with intelligence reporting said on Friday that Iran was their leading suspect for the incident.

According to a senior Israeli official, the attack – which took place just days before the swearing-in of Iran’s new hardline president Ebrahim Raisi – shows “the masks are coming off and no one can pretend they don’t know the character of the Iranian regime.

 “Iran isn’t just Israel’s problem, it is a global problem, and its behavior endangers free global shipping and trade. Our campaign against them will continue.

“This is an Iranian terror attack that killed two innocent men, harming international shipping,” the official continued, adding that “Iran is sowing violence and destruction in every corner of the region. Out of their eagerness to attack an Israeli target, they embroiled themselves and incriminated themselves in the killing of foreign citizens.”

Defense Minister Benny Gantz and IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi spoke on the phone following the strike, which is being treated as a severe terror attack.

Mercer Street, is a Liberian-flagged, Japanese-owned vessel managed by Israeli-owned Zodiac Maritime. The company said on Friday the vessel was sailing under the control of its crew and own power to a safe location with a U.S. naval escort. That escort was the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

“U.S. 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,” said Central Command, which oversees American military operations in the Middle East and Central Asia.

“Initial indications clearly point to a UAV-style (drone) attack,” it added.

IAl Alam TV, the Iranian government’s Arabic-language television network, cited unnamed sources as saying the attack on the ship came in response to a suspected, unspecified Israeli attack on Dabaa airport in Syria.

Iran and Israel have traded accusations of attacking each other’s vessels in recent months.

Tensions have…

Read More:Israel pushes for UNSC condemnation of Iranian maritime terrorism 

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