Israel blames Iran over tanker incident that left two dead.

A Briton and a Romanian were killed when an Israeli-managed petroleum product tanker came under attack on Thursday off the coast of Oman, the vessel’s ship management firm said on Friday, in an incident that Israel’s foreign minister blamed on Iran and said deserved a harsh response.

There were varying explanations for what happened to the Mercer Street, a Liberian-flagged, Japanese-owned ship, with the Israeli-owned Zodiac Maritime ship management firm describing the incident as “suspected piracy” and a source at the Oman Maritime Security Centre describing it as an accident that occurred outside Omani territorial waters.

Iran and Israel have traded accusations of attacking each other’s vessels in recent months and Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid said he had told Britain’s foreign secretary of the need for a tough response to the incident in which two crew members, one British and the other Romanian, were killed.

“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,” Mr Lapid said in a statement.

US and European sources familiar with intelligence reporting said Iran was their leading suspect for the incident, which a US defence official said appeared to have been carried out by a drone, but stressed their governments were seeking conclusive evidence.

Al 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.

There was no immediate official reaction from Iran to the accusation that it may have been responsible.

Israeli news website Ynet said the assessment in Israel was that there were two attacks on the ship, spaced several hours apart. The first caused no damage, and the second hit the bridge, causing the casualties.

It quoted an unnamed Israeli official as saying: “Israel will find it hard to turn a blind eye” to the attack.

Tensions have risen in the Gulf region since the US reimposed sanctions on Iran in 2018 after then-president Donald Trump withdrew Washington from Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with major powers.

The US regards the possibility of Iran obtaining nuclear arms, an ambition Tehran denies, as a direct threat to its ally Israel.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO), which provides maritime security information, said the attack was not piracy. The vessel was about 152 nautical miles (280km) northeast of the Omani port of Duqm when it was attacked, the organisation said.

London-based Zodiac Maritime, which is controlled by Israeli magnate Eyal Ofer, whose father Sammy was Israel’s most famous shipowner, said the ship was sailing under the control of its crew and own power to a safe location with a US naval escort.

According to Refinitiv ship tracking, the medium-size tanker was headed for Fujairah, a bunkering port and oil terminal in the UAE, from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. – Reuters

The Irish Times

The Irish Times online. Latest news including sport, analysis, business, weather and more from the definitive brand of quality news in Ireland.

https://www.irishtimes.com/

Women In Fire: Push To Recruit More Women As Firefighter Shortages Continue.

Women In Fire: Push To Recruit More Women As Firefighter Shortages Continue.

As firehouses are seeing a nationwide shortage, some are pushing to recruit more women as they make up less than 5% of career firefighters. NBC News' Julie Tsirkin reports. » Subscribe to NBC News: » Watch more NBC video: NBC News Digital is a col...

Sky News Breakfast - Fuel crisis grows

Sky News Breakfast - Fuel crisis grows

On Sky News Breakfast today, - Plans to ease the pressure at the pumps, Downing Street is expected to allow a temporary visa scheme for foreign HGV drivers - Sir Keir Starmer backtracks on plans to re-write the Labour Party rulebook ahead of this ...

1 30

Anthony Joshua: 'Biggest fight of the century'

Anthony Joshua: 'Biggest fight of the century'

Anthony Joshua prepares to defend his three world heavyweight boxing championship titles at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium, against Oleksandr Usyk. Watch the bout on Sky Sports Box Office. Read the full story here - SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel...

La Palma volcano: Firefighters retreat as eruption intensifies - DW News.

La Palma volcano: Firefighters retreat as eruption intensifies - DW News.

Volcanic activity on the Spanish island of La Palma has been intensifying again, prompting authorities to step up evacuations. And with ash clouds rising up to four kilometers high, flights have been canceled for the first time since the volcano b...

La Palma volcano spews smoke and lava as eruptions intensify.

La Palma volcano spews smoke and lava as eruptions intensify.

Smoke and lava poured from the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma on Saturday morning (September 25). Firefighters had pulled out of clean-up work in the town of Todoque on Friday as a new vent opened up in the flank of the vol...

Jan. 6 Capitol Riot Committee Issues Subpoenas To Top Trump Advisors

Jan. 6 Capitol Riot Committee Issues Subpoenas To Top Trump Advisors

The House committee investigating the January 6th Capitol attack issued their first subpoenas to advisors and allies of former President Trump. NBC News' Ali Vitali reports. » Subscribe to NBC News: » Watch more NBC video: NBC News Digital is a co...