The G7 foreign ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, and the high representative of the European Union, have condemned the attack on the Mercer Street vessel.
“We, the G7 Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, and the High Representative of the European Union, stand united in our commitment to maritime security and the protection of commercial shipping,” the representatives said in a joint statement.
“We condemn the unlawful attack committed on a merchant vessel off the coast of Oman on 29 July, which killed a British and a Romanian national. This was a deliberate and targeted attack, and a clear violation of international law. All available evidence clearly points to Iran. There is no justification for this attack,” the representatives added.
“Vessels must be allowed 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,” the ministers continued.
“Iran’s behavior, alongside its support to proxy forces and non-state 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,” they went on to say.
Earlier this month, Dryad Global’s August 2 Maritime Security Threat Assessment noted that the attack on the Mercer Street oil tanker emulates that of the ongoing Israel/Iran shadow war that has seen a tit for tat exchange of attacks on vessels.
On August 1, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab condemned the attack, calling it “callous”.
“Our thoughts are with the friends and family of those killed in the incident,” he said in a UK government statement. “The UK is working with our international partners on a concerted response to this unacceptable attack,” Raab added in the statement.
On the same day, U.S. Secretary of State Antony J Blinken said there was no justification for the attack, which he stated follows “a pattern of attacks and other belligerent behavior”.
“These actions threaten freedom of navigation through this crucial waterway, international shipping and commerce, and the lives of those on the vessels involved,” Blinken said in a government statement.
“We are working with our partners to consider our next steps and consulting with governments inside the region and beyond on an appropriate response, which will be forthcoming. We once again offer our condolences to the families of the victims,” he added.