Iran: US responds to nuclear weapons programme progress
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The tanker, managed by Israeli-owned Zodiac Maritime, was attacked on Thursday, resulting in the death of two crew members, also including a Romanian national. In a statement, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office offered condolences to the families of those killed.
They wrote: “We are deeply concerned by today’s incident off the coast of Oman.
“Our thoughts are with the loved ones of the British and Romanian nationals killed in the incident.
“Vessels must be allowed to navigate freely in accordance with international law.”
The British and Romanian nationals were both killed following an explosion on board the M/T Mercer Street, a Japanese owned, Liberian-flagged vessel.
Oman oil tanker attack: FCDO ‘deeply concerned’ over death of British national (Image: Marine Vessel Traffic)
Yair Lapid blamed Iran for the attack (Image: Getty Images)
The attack on the tanker is believed to have been carried out by a swarm of attack drones.
Drones are being increasingly used in the region and have been connected to an estimated 150 strikes over the past three years.
The British military’s United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) said an investigation into the incident is still ongoing but Israeli officials have pointed the finger at Iran for the attacks.
Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid said on Friday night he had contacted Dominic Raab, his UK counterpart.
Iran vs Israel military assets (Image: Express)
He said: “Iran is not just an Israeli problem, but an exporter of terrorism, destruction and instability that harms us all.
“The world must not be silent in the face of Iranian terrorism that also harms freedom of shipping.”
Iran has not yet responded to the accusation from the Israeli foreign minister.
Following the incident, the US Navy reportedly escorted the Mercer Street to the Omani island of Masirah.
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Yair Lapid said he had contacted Dominic Raab (Image: Getty Images)
The attack comes as talks between Tehran and Washington continue to stall.
The US has declared its frustration with the slow pace of the negotiations which could reactivate Iran’s nuclear deal.