G7 countries condemn attack on tanker off Oman, blame Iran

International

BERLIN (AP) — The Group of Seven leading industrialized countries on Friday jointly condemned last week’s attack on an oil tanker in the Arabian Sea and said evidence indicated Iran was behind the incident.

The HV Mercer Street was struck off the coast of Oman on July 29, killing two people — a Romanian and a British national.

“We condemn the unlawful attack committed on a merchant vessel,” the foreign ministers of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States of America said in a joint statement.

“This was a deliberate and targeted attack, and a clear violation of international law,” they added. “All available evidence clearly points to Iran. There is no justification for this attack.”

The ship is managed by a firm owned by an Israeli billionaire, and Israel — along with the U.S. and Britain — had previously pointed the finger at Tehran. Iran has denied being involved.

In their statement, the G-7 countries said “Iran’s behavior, alongside its support to proxy forces and non-state armed actors, threatens international peace and security.”

“We call on Iran to stop all activities inconsistent with relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions, and call on all parties to play a constructive role in fostering regional stability and peace,” they said.

The ministers called for vessels in the region to be able to “navigate freely in accordance with international law.”

“We will continue to do our utmost to protect all shipping, upon which the global economy depends, so that it is able to operate freely and without being threatened by irresponsible and violent acts,” they added.

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