Explosive experts have boarded the Israeli-managed tanker ship that was attacked off the coast of Oman to assess the damage and risk of another attack, the US Navy Central Command said on Saturday.
When a petroleum products tanker managed by Zodiac Maritime was attacked in the Arabian Sea late on Thursday, two crew members, a Briton and a Romanian, were killed.
A Pentagon official told Al Arabiya on Friday that US Navy personnel responded to a distress call in international waters after the ship was allegedly attacked by Iranian forces with a drone.
According to the official, the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, which was recently dispatched to the region to assist in the protection of troops withdrawing from Afghanistan, is currently accompanying the ship.
Following the attack, Israel blamed Iran for the attack and called for a tough response from its foreign minister, Yair Lapid.
“Iran is not just an Israeli problem, but an exporter of terrorism, destruction and instability that harms us all. The world must not be silent in the face of Iranian terrorism that also harms freedom of shipping,” Lapid said in a statement.
“I am in direct contact with the British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab. I mentioned to him tonight the need to respond severely to the attack on the ship in which a British citizen was killed. In addition, I instructed the embassies in Washington, London and the UN to work with their negotiators in the administration and the relevant delegations at the UN headquarters in New York,” he wrote on Twitter.
Since former US President Donald Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal with other powers in 2018 and reimposed sanctions on Tehran, tensions in the region have escalated.
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