UPDATED 12:33 PM PT – Sunday, August 1, 2021
Joe Biden’s State Department has accused Iran of the attack of an oil tanker after months of talks to restore the 2015 Nuclear Deal. On Sunday, Biden’s diplomats reported Iran attacked the Israeli managed ship Mercer Street, which was traveling in international waters in the Arabian Sea.
The department added it condemned the attacked and joined U.S. allies in opposition to Iran’s move. Two crewmembers, a British and a Romanian crew member, died in the attack.
The attack was undertaken by a so-called suicide drone. Iranian officials have denied their involvement by claiming it was both a distraction and provocation.
“We see these distractions every once in a while, especially when good things are happening in the region,” expressed Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh of the Foreign Ministry of Iran. “…The regime occupying Jerusalem has brought with it insecurity, violence, terror and war wherever it has gone, and for this reason those responsible are those who have brought this regime to the region.”
We join our partners and allies in our strong condemnation of the Iranian attack against the Mercer Street and will be working with our partners to consider our next steps. We offer our condolences to the families of the victims. https://t.co/4mjSziG3FE
— Ned Price (@StateDeptSpox) August 1, 2021
The State Department said the attack was unjustified and threatened commercial navigation in the crucial waterway.