G7 Foreign Ministers Blame Iran for 'Deliberate and Targeted' Deadly Ship Attack

Ben Samuels
Ben Samuels
Washington
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An Iranian flag is pictured near in a missile during a military drill, last year.
An Iranian flag is pictured near in a missile during a military drill, last year.Credit: WANA NEWS AGENCY / REUTERS
Ben Samuels
Ben Samuels
Washington

WASHINGTON – The foreign ministers of the G7 member states on Friday issued a joint statement blaming Iran for orchestrating last week's deadly attack on an Israeli-linked ship off the coast of Oman.

"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 foreign ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K., the U.S. and the EU said.

The joint statement noted that "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."

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"Iran’s behavior, alongside its support to proxy forces and non-state armed actors, threatens international peace and security," the foreign ministers added.

"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 U.S. State Department added in a statement that it "condemns in the strongest terms" the Hezbollah rocket fire, saying it puts "Israelis and Lebanese at risk and jeopardizes Lebanon’s stability and sovereignty."

The statement, issued by spokesperson Ned Price, said that the U.S. is engaged with Israeli and Lebanese officials, as well as the Lebanese Armed Forces. The U.S. also called upon the Lebanese government to urgently prevent such acts, to bring the area under its control, and to facilitate full access for UNIFIL peacekeepers. It also "strongly encouraged all efforts to maintain calm."

The U.S. Central Command, meanwhile, released their findings into the attack, concluding that an Iranian-produced UAV loaded with a military-grade explosive was used in the attack. The U.S. noted the drone had components "nearly identical to previously collected examples from Iranian one-way attack UAVs." CENTCOM also stated that the deadly attack followed two failed attempted strikes the day before.

Israeli officials have blamed the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's drone command and the head of its air force for the attack. Prime Minister Naftali Bennet warned that Israel is capable of acting against Iran on its own after U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken vowed a "collective response."

The G7 statement comes as tensions continue to escalate in the region.

On Friday, Hezbollah fired 19 rockets from Lebanon into Israel, leading to Israeli retaliatory strikes.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz said on Thursday that Israel is prepared to attack Iran. Israel's retaliatory attacks in Lebanon are "warning shots," he said.

He added that "it's obvious we are capable of doing a lot more, and we hope we won't be dragged into it."

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