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U.S. vows response after tanker attack



MAP shows the location of the drone attack against MT Mercer Street in the northern Indian Ocean. / GAL ROMA, PAZ PIZARRO, AUDE GENET/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

WASHINGTON (AFP) — The United States on Sunday blamed Iran for a deadly attack on an Israeli tanker off Oman and vowed an “appropriate response” was forthcoming.

The MT Mercer Street tanker was struck Thursday in the northern Indian Ocean, killing two crew members, in what the United States said was a drone-style attack.

“Upon review of the available information, we are confident that Iran conducted this attack,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement, adding that the attack was carried out using a drone.

“We are working with our partners to consider our next steps and consulting with governments inside the region and beyond on an appropriate response, which will be forthcoming,” Blinken added.

Britain also said Sunday it believes Iran deliberately carried out the attack in “a clear violation of international law.”

Earlier Sunday, Iran denied involvement in the attack, with foreign ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh saying Israel “must stop such baseless accusations.”

“Iran will not hesitate for a moment to defend its… interests and national security,” he told a news conference.