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US Sect of State: There will be a "collective response" to Iranian drone attack on Israel-linked ship

Both Britain and Israel have issued similar warnings

US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken (Photo: Ron Przysucha/State Department)

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said this afternoon that there will be a "collective response" to Iran after an attack on an Israeli-linked tanker off the coast of Oman on July 29.

"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 said.

Two crewmen were killed – a British and a Romanian national. The ship, the Mercer Street, is a Japanese vessel managed by Zodiac Maritime, led by Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer.

Blinken noted that there have been "a series of actions taken by Iran over many months, including against shipping."

"But what it does say is that Iran continues to act with tremendous irresponsibility," he said.

On Sunday, Blinken said that the U.S. was "confident that Iran conducted this attack, which killed two innocent people, using one-way explosive UAVs, a lethal capability it is increasingly employing throughout the region."

"There is no justification for this attack, which follows a pattern of attacks and other belligerent behavior. These actions threaten freedom of navigation through this crucial waterway, international shipping and commerce, and the lives of those on the vessels involved."

"We are working with our partners to consider our next steps and consulting with governments inside the region and beyond on an appropriate response, which will be forthcoming. We once again offer our condolences to the families of the victims," Blinken said.

Both Britain and Israel have issued similar warnings.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that Israel has evidence that Iran is behind the attack and that even if the international community does not condemn the Islamic regime, “Israel knows how to send a message to Iran in our own way.”

“Iran carried out the attack against the ship. Iran's thuggishness endangers not only Israel, but also harms global interests, namely freedom of navigation and international trade,” Bennett said. “The intelligence evidence for this exists and we expect the international community will make it clear to the Iranian regime that they have made a serious mistake.”

According to a diplomatic source, Jerusalem is reportedly “working with other countries, especially Britain and the United States, and more to advance the Security Council’s discussion on this serious terrorist act by Iran that joins its other actions that call into question and endanger all maritime security and free trade.”

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