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NATO condemns ship attack, says ‘concerned by Iran’s destabilizing actions’

This Jan. 2, 2016 photo shows the oil tanker Mercer Street off Cape Town, South Africa. The oil tanker linked to an Israeli billionaire reportedly came under attack off the coast of Oman in the Arabian Sea, authorities said Friday, July 30, 2021. (Johan Victor via AP)
This Jan. 2, 2016 photo shows the oil tanker Mercer Street off Cape Town, South Africa. The oil tanker linked to an Israeli billionaire reportedly came under attack off the coast of Oman in the Arabian Sea, authorities said Friday, July 30, 2021. (Johan Victor via AP)

BRUSSELS — The NATO alliance condemns a deadly attack on an Israeli-operated tanker last week, and urges Iran to respect international shipping rules.

Separately, the European Union also condemns the “unacceptable” attack and “any action that would be detrimental to peace and stability in this area.”

The United States, Britain and Israel say Iran launched the attack on the vessel, MV Mercer Street, off the coast of Oman last week, killing a British security guard and a Romanian crew member.

Iran, which inaugurated ultraconservative Ebrahim Raisi as its new president today, denies involvement. It has warned it will respond to any “adventurism” from its western foes.

Britain and Romania are allies in NATO, alongside the United States which has promised to lead a “collective response” to the incident.

Today, a NATO spokesman “strongly condemned” the attack.

“Freedom of navigation is vital for all NATO Allies, and must be upheld in accordance with international law,” NATO spokesman Dylan White says.

“The United Kingdom, the United States, and Romania have concluded that Iran is highly likely responsible for this incident.

“Allies remain concerned by Iran’s destabilizing actions in the region, and call on Tehran to respect its international obligations.”

EU foreign affairs spokeswoman Nabila Massrali tells reporters: “The exact circumstances of this attack have to be clarified. And we take note of investigations carried out by the United States, the UK and Israel.

“This is an action that was against a freedom of navigation in this area and of course, unacceptable.”

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