DOMINIC Raab has accused Iran of a “deliberate and callous” drone attack on an oil-tanker that killed a British armed forces veteran.

The attack on the Mercer Street, which is linked to an Israeli billionaire, occurred off Oman in the Arabian Sea and a Romanian crew member was also killed.


The Brit, who has not been named, was working for the Herefordshire based security company Ambrey and was onboard the 600ft tanker.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the night raid on the Liberian-flagged Mercer Street.

Suspicion immediately fell on Iran, which has been linked to other attacks on tankers and has been engaged in a tit-for-tat shadow war with Israel in which each other’s ships have been targeted.

But the country's state media has come out directly and claimed responsibility and said the attack was retaliation for an Israeli strike on Syria.

However, now the Foreign Secretary has said it is highly likely that the attack was carried out by Iran.

'DELIBERATE'

He said: “The UK condemns the unlawful and callous attack committed on a merchant vessel off the coast of Oman, which killed a British and a Romanian National. Our thoughts are with the friends and family of those killed in the incident.

“We believe this attack was deliberate, targeted, and a clear violation of international law by Iran. 

“UK assessments have concluded that it is highly likely that Iran attacked the MV MERCER STREET in international waters off Oman on 29 July using one or more Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).

“Iran must end such attacks, and vessels must be allowed to navigate freely in accordance with international law.

“The UK is working with our international partners on a concerted response to this unacceptable attack.”

n 2019, two oil tankers , the Front Altair and Kokuka Courageous, were attacked by torpedos and burst into flames off the coast of Iran.

Balaclava-clad Iranian commandos seized the British tanker Stena Impero that year.

But the attack on the Mercer Street marks the first-known fatal attack after years of assaults on commercial shipping in the region linked to tensions with Iran over its tattered nuclear deal. 

A unnamed US official, told The Associated Press that the attack appeared to have been carried out by a “one-way” drone and other drones took part. 

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