U.K.: UNSC Must Respond to Iran’s ‘Destabilizing Actions’

YERUSHALAYIM -
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (R) and Britain’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab hold a joint news conference following their bilateral meeting in London, May 3. (Chris J Ratcliffe/Pool via REUTERS)

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on Wednesday demanded that the United Nations Security Council respond to last week’s deadly tanker attack off the coast of Oman, accusing Iran – which the West blamed for the drone strike – of destabilizing behavior.

“The Council must respond to Iran’s destabilizing actions & lack of respect for international law,” Raab wrote on Twitter, referencing a letter sent to the Security Council on Tuesday signed by Britain and other nations.

Tehran has denied any involvement in last Thursday’s attack on the Mercer Street – a Liberian-flagged, Japanese-owned petroleum product tanker managed by Israeli-owned Zodiac Maritime.

Two crew members, a Briton and a Romanian, were killed.

Raab’s accusation that Iran was “destabilizing” the region echoed the language in a statement from NATO on Tuesday, which strongly condemned the attack on the MV Mercer Street.

“Freedom of navigation is vital for all NATO Allies, and must be upheld in accordance with international law,” NATO said.

“The United Kingdom, the United States, and Romania have concluded that Iran is highly likely responsible for this incident. Allies remain concerned by Iran’s destabilizing actions in the region, and call on Tehran to respect its international obligations.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday that there would be a “collective response” to the attack, which he called a “direct threat to freedom of navigation and commerce.”

“We are in very close contact, in coordination, with the United Kingdom, Israel, Romania and other countries. And there will be a collective response,” Blinken told reporters.
Raab on Sunday called the attack “a deliberate, targeted, and a clear violation of international law by Iran.”

Like his American counterpart, Raab said that the U.K. was “working with our international partners on a concerted response to this unacceptable attack.”

Israel has also said that the response to the attack would be an international effort.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Tuesday that Israel was enlisting an international response to the attack, but added that if necessary, “we are able to act alone.”

Speaking during a visit to the IDF Northern Command and accompanied by IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi, the prime minister also slammed the EU for sending an emissary to Iran to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Ebrahim Raisi as president on Tuesday.