tical to those on one of the
Iranian designed and produced
one-way attack ‘kamikaze’
family, that Iran was actively
involved in this attack.”
The U.S. military couldn’t
say where the drones originated from, but said “the distance from the Iranian coast to
the locations of the attacks was
within the range of documented
Iranian one-way attack UAVs,”
or unmanned aerial vehicles.
Separately, U.K. envoy to
the U.N. Barbara Woodward
said Friday the drone used in
the attack was an Iranianmade Shahed 136 UAV, citing
an analysis of the debris recovered from the ship.
The Mercer Street is owned
an attack so far into international waters, a U.S. official said.
A U.S. ordnance team stationed on the USS Ronald Reagan, the nearest American aircraft carrier, boarded Mercer
Street the day of the second
attack and collected evidence,
including pieces of the drones.
The U.S. “concluded, based
on the vertical fin being idenThe U.S. military said the
attack began July 29, when two
armed drones landed on the Liberian-flagged Mercer Street,
at sea near the coast of Oman,
but did no major damage. The
crew recovered some of the debris from one of the drones,
the military said. The following
day, a third drone attacked the
ship, killing two crew members, a Romanian and British
national, the first deaths after
numerous strikes in recent
years on ships in the region.
The July 30 attack “required
calculated and deliberate retargeting of [Mercer Street] by
Iran,” the U.S. military said. A
proxy state or terrorist group
couldn’t have carried out such
the European Union also
placed blame on Iran on Friday, calling it a “deliberate and
targeted attack, and a clear violation of international law.”
“All available evidence
clearly points to Iran. There is
no justification for this attack,” a joint statement said.
Ambassador Zahra Ershadi,
Iran’s deputy representative to
the United Nations, denied Iranian responsibility and accused Israel of “adventurism
and destabilizing activities” in
Neither the U.S. nor its European allies have hinted whether
they would use military action,
sanctions or other measures in
response to their conclusions.
military said drone fragments
recovered from an Israelilinked merchant vessel damaged in a fatal attack in the
Arabian Sea last week prove
Iran was behind the incident.
U.S. Central Command,
which oversees military operations in the Middle East and
Afghanistan, released photographs of the drone parts, and
said the debris, the proximity
of the strikes to Iran, and the
sophistication of the attack
point to Iran’s culpability.
Meanwhile, the Group of
Seven leading economies and by a Japanese company, but
operated by Zodiac Maritime,
which is controlled by Israeli
billionaire Eyal Ofer’s group.
Iran has said Israel was behind an April act of sabotage
at its main nuclear plant, and
The Wall Street Journal has reported that Israel has been targeting ships carrying fuel and
weaponry from Iran to Syria.
The U.N. Security Council
discussed the attacks Friday,
and is expected to raise the
matter again in a maritime-security meeting Monday. The
presence of Russia and China as
permanent members of the Security Council, with the power
to veto resolutions, could limit
the body’s ability to react.