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Tel Aviv
Israel has criticised Iran following a deadly attack on a tanker ship in the north of the Indian Ocean.
Two crew members on the ship with Israeli links died in the attack as the vessel travelled off the coast of Oman, the British-based management company Zodiac Maritime said on Friday.
A Romanian national and a British national died, a company statement said.
Zodiac is chaired by Israeli shipping magnate Eyal Ofer. The firm manages the tanker, M/T Mercer Street, which is owned by a Japanese company.
“Iran is not only an Israeli problem, but an exporter of terror, destruction and instability that harm us all,” Foreign Minister Yair Lapid tweeted late on Friday.
The attack appears to have been carried out by several unmanned Iranian drones, according to a report in the New York Times, citing Israeli sources.
Lapid wrote that he had stressed to Britain’s Foreign Minister Dominic Raab the need for a firm response to the attack. He had also instructed embassies in Washington, London and at the UN to reach out to the appropriate contacts at the UN.
On Friday, Zodiac Maritime had said there was a suspected attack by armed pirates on the tanker as it headed from Tanzania to the Emirate of Fujairah, without any cargo on board.
Vessels with Israeli links have repeatedly been attacked in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Oman in recent months.
In early July a freighter was attacked that had previously been owned by Zodiac Maritime, according to media reports.
At the time, Israeli daily Haaretz reported that Israel suspected Iran of being behind that attack. Similar incidents occurred in February and April, which Israel also blamed Iran for.
In April, an Iranian freight vessel was slightly damaged in an explosion in the Red Sea. According to the News York Times daily, Israel had been behind this attack.
Israel and Iran are arch-enemies, while Israel has now established diplomatic relations with the Gulf states of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.
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