Israel accuses Iran of deadly oil tanker attack off Oman

The Mercer Street tanker attacked Thursday July 29, 2021 seen here in 2016 near Cape Town in South Africa.

© Johan Victor / AP

Text by: RFI Follow

5 mins

The attack on an oil tanker in the Arabian Sea killed two of the crew, announced this Friday, July 30, its owner Zodiac Maritime, a London-based company, a subsidiary of Zdiac Group, whose owner is the Israeli Eyal Ofer.

The Hebrew state accuses its nemesis, Iran, of being behind the incident.


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 Iran is sowing violence and destruction in all corners of the region

 ", denounced an Israeli government official in a statement, adding that, "

 wanting to target Israel

 ", Tehran had "

 incriminated itself by killing foreign civilians


Iran is not only Israel's problem, it is a global problem, and its behavior endangers the freedom of navigation and trade in the world, 

" he added.

Security experts have also raised the hypothesis of an Iranian origin in this attack, which took place in a strategic area where Israeli boats have already been targeted.

Earlier on Friday, Zodiac Maritime, an international company headquartered in London, announced on Twitter "

 the death of two crew members

: a Romanian national and a British national

 " in an incident aboard the

M / T Mercer Street


Update on the situation involving the M / T Mercer Street:

- Zodiac Maritime (@Zodiac_Maritime) July 30, 2021

The latter is now sailing " 

under the control of his crew to a place of safety, with an American naval escort

 ," added the firm which belongs to Israeli businessman and billionaire Eyal Ofer later.

In the United States, ally of Israel and enemy of Iran, the administration of Joe Biden has remained cautious.


We are monitoring the situation closely,

 ” said State Department spokeswoman Jalina Porter.


 We are cooperating with our foreign partners to establish the facts,

 " she added.

An attack in the Arabian Sea

According to the UKMTO maritime operations site, a counter-piracy agency under the British Navy, the attack was reported Thursday, July 29 at 6 p.m. GMT, while it was underway, around 152 nautical miles (280 kilometers) from the coast of Oman.

The British national who died in the attack worked for the security company Ambrey, which confirmed via its spokesperson the "




of its employee in a " 

security incident 


A spokesperson for the UK Ministry of Defense said its headquarters in the region were currently investigating.


 At the time of the incident, the vessel was in the northern Indian Ocean 

" and was sailing without cargo from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania to Fujairah, a coastal city in the United Arab Emirates, according to the owner, who operates the vessel. Japanese.

The Arabian Sea is located between Iran and Oman, at the exit of the strategic Strait of Hormuz through which passes a large part of the world's oil and where

a coalition led by the United States



Shipping in the area was the target of frequent piracy a decade ago, but incidents have declined markedly in recent years after increased patrols by maritime forces from several countries.

►Also read:

An Iranian oil tanker hit by a deadly attack near Syria

(With AFP)


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  • Israel

  • Oman

  • Iran