U.S. military investigators say all evidence in a deadly drone attack on an oil tanker off the coast of Oman points to Iran.A team from the U.S. aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan was dispatched to the MV Mercer Street following a series of strikes last week to examine debris and interview survivors. The team concluded the drone remnants “were identical to previously identified Iranian unmanned one-way attack systems.””Iran was actively involved in this attack,” according to the report released Friday by U.S. Central Command. It said the drone fragments, specifically one of the fins, were identical to those found on other so-called kamikaze drones produced by Iran and used in attacks throughout the region.NEW: @CENTCOM warns, “The use of #Iranian designed & produced one way attack “kamikaze” UAVs is a growing trend in the region”US says such drones “are actively used by #Iran & their proxies against coalition forces in the region, to include targets in #SaudiArabia & #Iraq” pic.twitter.com/vF6qWthdYk— Jeff Seldin (@jseldin) August 6, 2021Iran has repeatedly denied any involvement in the attack.On Friday, Iran’s deputy U.N. ambassador, Zahra Ershadi, warned against any retaliation.”Iran will not hesitate to defend itself and secure its national interests,” Ershadi said.But U.S. investigators said debris found at the scene left little doubt about Iranian involvement, including the use of military-grade explosives, which blew open a 6-foot-wide hole in the tanker’s pilot house.NEW: “This was a deliberate & targeted attack, & clear violation of int’l law” per @PressSec re MV Mercer Street”There’s discussion w/the #G7, w/the UN Security Council” on possible actions vs #Iran, she adds— Jeff Seldin (@jseldin) August 6, 2021U.S. Central Command spokesman Captain Bill Urban said that other evidence also pointed to Tehran’s involvement.”The distance from the Iranian coast to the locations of the attacks was within the range of documented Iranian one-way attack UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles],” Urban said.U.S. investigators further said it appeared the MV Mercer Street had been hit by a total of three drones on July 29-30, with at least one of them “rigged to cause injury and destruction.”British and Israeli explosives experts, who were given access to evidence, concurred with the U.S. findings, according to CENTCOM.Israeli company managed shipThe MV Mercer Street, a Japanese-owned vessel managed by an Israeli-owned London-based company, was about 159 kilometers from Al Duqm port in Oman when it came under attack last week.Two crew members, the ship’s Romanian captain and a British security guard, were killed.A statement earlier Friday by foreign ministers of the Group of Seven liberal democracies also blamed Tehran for the attack.“This was a deliberate and targeted attack, and a clear violation of international law,” the statement said. “There is no justification.”Earlier this week, Britain’s top military commander called on Western powers to retaliate against Iran or risk further emboldening the regime in Tehran.Britain’s Top General Calls for Retaliation on Iran for Drone Strike  Iran denies any role in the July 29 attack that left two people dead Iran this week was also accused in some media outlets of engineering an attempted hijacking of another oil tanker, the Panamanian-flagged Asphalt Princess, in the Gulf of Oman.Iran denied involvement in the incident, though Israeli officials said they had evidence linking Tehran to the attack.Tensions High in Gulf Following Latest Tanker Traffic IncidentReported hijacking of tanker in the Gulf of Oman appears to have been resolvedThis report includes information from Reuters.

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