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Dominic Raab to hit back at Iran after Briton killed in drone attack

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The Foreign Secretary said Britain was working on a response as he ordered Tehran to end “such attacks”. A drone was crashed into the ship linked to an Israeli billionaire off the coast of Oman. The strike on the tanker, Mercer Street, on Thursday night was the first known fatal attack after years of assaults on commercial shipping in the region linked to tensions with Iran over its shattered nuclear deal.

British maritime security firm Ambrey said the attack blasted a hole through the vessel’s bridge and killed one of its employees.

Iran denied responsibility after Israel’s prime minister directly blamed it for the attack. Mr Raab said the UK Government backed Naftali Bennett’s claim. 

He said: “The UK condemns the unlawful and callous attack committed on a merchant vessel off the coast of Oman, which killed a British and a Romanian national.

“We believe this attack was deliberate, targeted, and a clear violation of international law by Iran.

“UK assessments have concluded that it is highly likely that Iran attacked the MV Mercer Street in international waters using one or more unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

“Iran must end such attacks, and vessels must be allowed to navigate freely in accordance with international law. The UK is working with our international partners on a concerted response to this unacceptable attack.”

The Mercer Street is managed by London-based Zodiac Maritime, part of Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer’s Zodiac Group.

The Foreign Office said the drone assault followed similar attacks on three other Israelilinked ships in the region since February.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said allegations that Iran carried out the attack were “baseless”.

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