Monday, October 3, 2022

Military chief: Iran made ‘big mistake’ in shipping attack that killed Britain

The British army chief has said Iran’s reckless behavior threatens to escalate “disastrous” hostilities in the Middle East.

Chief of Defense Staff General Sir Nick Carter said Iran made a “big mistake” targeting the Mercer Street tanker, which killed a Briton and a Romanian.

The July 29 drone strike off the coast of Oman drew international condemnation of Iran after Britain, the United States and Israel placed the blame on Tehran.

Carter told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “What we basically need to do is call out Iran for its very reckless behaviour.

“He made a big mistake on the attack he made against the Mercer Street vessel last week because, of course, it has internationalized too much of the state of play in the Gulf.”

He added: “Ultimately, we have to reinstate the resistance because this is behavior that leads to escalation, and it can very easily lead to miscalculations and it will be very disastrous for all the people of the Gulf and the international community. “

Carter’s remarks came shortly after another incident in the seas around Oman.

The hijackers are believed to have seized a ship off the coast of the United Arab Emirates in the Gulf of Oman.

They later left the ship with the Royal Navy’s United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) organization reporting that the incident, described as a “probable hijacking”, was “complete”.

“The ship is safe,” the group said without identifying the ship.

Shipping authority Lloyd’s List and maritime intelligence firm Dryad Global had identified the hijacked vessel as the Panama-flagged asphalt tanker Asphalt Princess.

Satellite-tracking data from Asphalt Princess showed it slowly moving toward Iranian waters early Wednesday.

But it stopped and headed back to Oman just before the UKMTO made the statement.

In the past few years, commercial shipping in vital Persian Gulf waters has been increasingly targeted, amid ongoing tensions between Iran and the West over its activities in the Middle East and Tehran’s fragile nuclear deal.

Apparently reacting to Tuesday’s ship seizure, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh called recent maritime strikes in the Persian Gulf “totally suspicious” and denied that Tehran played any role.

The Gulf of Oman is near the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow estuary of the Persian Gulf through which one-fifth of all oil passes.

Fujairah, on the east coast of the United Arab Emirates, is a main port in the region for ships to pick up new oil cargo, pick up supplies or trade crew.

For the past two years, the waters of Fujairah have seen a series of explosions and kidnappings.

Carter said Britain would work with the Allies to determine the best way to protect shipping in the region, but a return to the convoy system escorted by warships was “not necessarily the right way.”

Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the UK, Romania and Liberia – under whose flags were sailing Mercer Street – have written to the UN Security Council president to raise the issue.

“The council must respond to Iran’s destabilizing actions and its lack of respect for international law,” Raab said.

by David Hughes

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

Nation World News Desk
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