G7 Says Evidence of Israeli Ship Attack Pointing to Iran

G7 Says Evidence of Israeli Ship Attack Pointing to Iran

The Foreign Ministers of the Group of Seven (G7) said that Iran threatens international peace and security. The G7 said all evidence points to Iran as the mastermind behind the attack on the tanker Mercer Street last week.

"All available evidence clearly points to Iran. There is no justification for this attack," said a statement issued by the current G7 chair, Britain.

The ship is a Liberian-flagged Japanese oil product tanker managed by Israel's Zodiac Maritime. However, Tehran has denied involvement in the alleged drone strike, which left two British and Romanian crew members dead.

In a separate statement, the US military said explosives experts from the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan, which was deployed to assist Mercer Street, concluded that the drone was manufactured in Iran. Experts said the explosives were able to find several parts of the drone, including parts of the wings and internal components they said were nearly identical to previously collected Iranian strike drone samples.

The US military also said the attack may have been launched from the Iranian coast. According to the US military, the distance to the attack site was within the range of Iran's documented one-way strikes.

"Some of the materials were transferred to the US Fifth Fleet headquarters in Manama, Bahrain and then to the US national laboratory for further testing and verification," Central Command, which oversees US forces in the region, said in the statement.

Despite Tehran's denials, Britain, the United States and others criticized Iran for the attack. The G7 statement said Iran's behavior, in addition to its support for proxy forces and non-state armed actors, threatens international peace and security.

"We call on Iran to cease all activities that are inconsistent with relevant UN Security Council resolutions, and call on all parties to play a constructive role in promoting regional stability and peace," the G7 joint statement said.

Britain raised the issue at a closed meeting of the UN Security Council on Friday (6/8). No action is expected to be taken by the 15-member body.

"Iran is responsible for this attack. We know it was intentional and targeted. There is no justification for what happened, a state-sanctioned attack on a civilian ship, which passed through international waters peacefully," British Ambassador to the United Nations Barbara Woodward told reporters after meeting.

Iran's Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations Zahra Ershadi rejected accusations that Tehran was behind the attack and warned against any retaliation. "Iran will not hesitate to defend itself and secure its national interests," he said.