By RFE RL
(RFE/RL) — The Group of Seven leading industrialized countries on August 6 jointly condemned last week’s attack on an oil tanker in the Arabian Sea and said all evidence indicated Iran was behind the incident.
The July 29 strike on the Mercer Street tanker killed one British and one Romanian crewman, making it the first known lethal attack on commercial shipping amid tensions in the region since the breakdown three years ago of a nuclear deal between world powers and Iran.
“We condemn the unlawful attack committed on a merchant vessel,” the foreign ministers of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United States said in a joint statement.
“This was a deliberate and targeted attack, and a clear violation of international law,” they added. “All available evidence clearly points to Iran. There is no justification for this attack.”
The ship is managed by a firm owned by an Israeli billionaire, and Israel — along with the U.S. and Britain — had previously pointed the finger at Tehran. Tehran has denied any role in the attack.
The statement by the Group of Seven wealthy economies said “Iran’s behavior, alongside its support to proxy forces and nonstate armed actors, threatens international peace and security.”
“We call on Iran to stop all activities inconsistent with relevant UN Security Council resolutions, and call on all parties to play a constructive role in fostering regional stability and peace,” the statement added.
The ministers called for vessels in the region to be able to “navigate freely in accordance with international law.”
“We will continue to do our utmost to protect all shipping, upon which the global economy depends, so that it is able to operate freely and without being threatened by irresponsible and violent acts,” they said.
Tensions have risen in the Persian Gulf since the United States reimposed sanctions on Iran in 2018 after then-President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the 2015 nuclear deal with major powers.