G7 nations accuse Iran of ‘clear violation of international law’ for MV Mercer Street drone attack

‘Iran’s behaviour ... threatens international peace and security’ says G7 statement

Charlene Rodrigues
Saturday 07 August 2021 01:24 BST
A drone hit the Mercer Street oil tanker on July 29, killing British and Romanian crew members
A drone hit the Mercer Street oil tanker on July 29, killing British and Romanian crew members (Maxar Technologies)

G7 ministers have jointly condemned the attack on a tanker in the Gulf of Oman as “a clear violation of international law” in a statement released on Friday.

The ministers from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States added that “all available evidence” of the origin of the drone attack “clearly points to Iran”.

“We condemn the unlawful attack committed on a merchant vessel off the coast of Oman on July 29, which killed a British and a Romanian national,” the statement read.

The group said vessels must be allowed to navigate freely in accordance with international law.

“Iran’s behaviour, alongside its support to proxy forces and non-state armed actors, threatens international peace and security.”

“We call on Iran to stop all activities inconsistent with relevant UN Security Council resolutions, and call on all parties to play a constructive role in fostering regional stability and peace.”

A drone hit the Mercer Street oil tanker on July 29, killing British Army veteran Adrian Underwood, who was providing security for the vessel.

The Metropolitan Police said their Counter Terrorism Command is working to support the UK Coroner’s Office to establish the circumstances of Mr Underwood’s death.

On Thursday, Dominic Raab said Iran was at a “crossroads” with the rest of the world as a new president, Ebrahim Raisi, was inaugurated.

The foreign secretary is willing to engage in talks with Iran, but warned the country would be held to account for the attack on the ship off the coast of Oman.

Iran has denied responsibility for the incident.

Ali Fathollah-Nejad, author of the weekly newsletter “Iran 1400 Brief: Beyond the Headlines” said it is likely that Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps has been behind this attack.

“The timing suggests that there are elements in Iran who want to divert attention from a very delicate domestic situation for the regime by provoking tensions abroad.”

“For them, any reaction by Israel and/or the U.S., they hope, would lead to a rallying-around-the-flag effect among Iranians if war would break out,” Mr Fathollah-Nejad said.

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