Iran warns against any action over tanker attack

U.S., U.K. say they will work with allies to prepare response.

Iran will respond promptly to any threat against its security, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Monday, after the United States, Israel and Britain blamed Tehran for an attack on an Israeli-managed tanker off the coast of Oman.

Tehran has denied any involvement in the attack on Thursday in which two crew members — a Briton and a Romanian — were killed.

Envoy summoned

The U.S. and Britain said on Sunday they would work with their partners to respond to the attack on the Mercer Street, a Liberian-flagged, Japanese-owned petroleum product tanker managed by Israeli-owned Zodiac Maritime.

Britain summoned the Iranian Ambassador on Monday.

“Iran has no hesitation in protecting its security and national interests and will respond promptly and strongly to any possible adventure,” Iranian state television quoted Saeed Khatibzadeh as saying.

Mr. Khatibzadeh “strongly regretted the baseless accusations made by the British foreign secretary against Iran, which were repeated by the U.S. secretary of state in the same context and contained contradictory, false and provocative accusations”, state TV reported.

Britain said on Sunday it was highly likely that Iran carried out the attack, using one or two drones. The U.S. Navy, which was escorting the tanker with the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, said on Saturday that early indications “clearly pointed” to a drone attack.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett had accused Tehran of “trying to shirk responsibility” for the attack, and called its denial “cowardly”. Israel’s Foreign Minister said on Sunday the incident deserved a harsh response.

Iran and Israel have exchanged accusations of carrying out attacks on each other’s vessels in recent months.

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