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Blinken vows ‘collective response’ to tanker attack pinned on Iran, as Tehran warns Washington against any ‘adventures’

The top US diplomat once again blamed Iran for the incident, arguing that it “follows a pattern of similar attacks by Iran, including past incidents with explosive drones.”

Speaking at a briefing on Monday, he also said that, following a “thorough review,” Washington was “confident” Tehran is to blame in this case. Yet, he did not present any new evidence pointing to Iran.

Instead, Blinken accused the Islamic Republic of acting with “tremendous irresponsibility when it comes to… threats to navigation and commerce.” The secretary then said that Washington was still “coordinating with our partners and consulting with governments in the region,” including the UK, Israel and Romania to prepare what he called “a collective response.”

Blinken’s statement echoed his own comments on Sunday, when he first directly accused Iran of being behind the attack and vowed an “appropriate response” to the incident. The US is yet to announce any specific steps.

Last week, an Israeli-operated tanker MV Mercer Street was targeted by what the US Navy’s Fifth fleet quickly designated a “suicide drone” as it was sailing off the coast of Oman. Two people were killed in the incident: a Romanian captain and a British security guard.

Israel was one of the first nations to blame the attack on Tehran, demanding a harsh response to the incident. London said on Sunday it was “highly likely” Tehran was behind the assault and summoned the Iranian ambassador on Monday to demand Iran “cease actions that risk international peace and security.”

Tehran has repeatedly denied its involvement while slamming the US, British and Israeli statements as “false” and “contradictory” accusations and demanding any solid proof of its supposed involvement be presented to the public.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry’s spokesman, Saeed Khatibzadeh, said on Monday that his nation would not hesitate to protect its security and national interests should any threat arise as he warned the three nations against any “adventures.”

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