On July 29th, it’s alleged that Iran struck an oil tanker with connections to Israel near Oman with an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV.) The attack killed two individuals that were onboard, one from Romania and the other from the United Kingdom.
It was the first deadly attack in the continuing maritime war-between-wars and has led Israel, the U.K., the U.S. and Romania to accuse the Islamic Republic of Iran of “sowing violence and destruction.”
The Mercer Street tanker is managed by London-based Zodiac Maritime, part of Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer's Zodiac Group, and this is not the first time that a Israeli-owned or -managed ship has been attacked in international waters by Iran and/or their terrorist proxies.
Prior to this recent attack, a commercial ship that was previously Israeli-owned (also by Zodiac Maritime), was attacked in the northern Indian Ocean on July 3rd. In addition, vessel Hyperion, owned by the Israeli Ray Shipping company and Israeli businessman Rami Ungar, was attacked April 13 in United Arab Emirates waters.
Reports said the Hyperion came under fire near the emirate of Fujairah in the Gulf of Oman. The vehicle carrier MV Helios Ray, also owned by Ray shipping, was attacked at the end of February, also in the Gulf of Oman.
These attacks will continue to occur with more frequency unless President Biden reverses course with the regime that governs the Islamic Republic of Iran. If I were advising President Biden, I would tell him to immediately hold a press conference condemning the IRI for this attack and announcing new economic economic sanctions against the IRI for this latest provocation.
The Iranian Regime continues to flex their muscles in the region and while they have been going on the offense against the U.S., Israel and other regional allies — the leader of the free world, President Biden, has remained silent.
President Biden, aka President Appeasement, has been largely silent on anything related to Iran. This is a strategic mistake and one that the mullahs in Tehran are taking advantage of.
So while President Biden has remained silent, Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennet stated:
“I determine, with absolute certainty: Iran carried out the attack against the ship,” Bennett stated at the start of a cabinet meeting. “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.“In any case, we know how to send a message to Iran in our own way. Iran’s thuggishness endangers not only Israel, but also harms global interests, namely freedom of navigation and international trade.”
The United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary Dominc Raab joined in with a statement of his own:
"We believe this attack was deliberate, targeted, and a clear violation of international law by Iran. U.K. assessments have concluded that it is highly likely that Iran attacked the Mv Mercer Street in international waters off Oman on 29 July using one or more Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). The U.K. condemns the unlawful and callous attack committed on a merchant vessel off the coast of Oman, which killed a British and a Romanian national. Our thoughts are with the friends and family of those killed in the incident."
United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken also released a statement:
"We join our partners and allies in our strong condemnation of the attack against the Mercer Street, a commercial ship that was peacefully transiting through the north Arabian Sea in international waters."
And most recently, Romania joined the U.S., U.K. and Israel by releasing this statement through their Foreign Affairs Ministry:
“Given the aspects presented by Romania’s international partners concerning the fact that the attack was deliberate and coordinated by Iran, Romania asks Iranian authorities to offer explanations right away and reserves the right to act accordingly, alongside its international partners, for an adequate response. The ambassador of Iran to Bucharest was summoned urgently at MAE.”
So while Israel, the U.S., the U.K. and Romania all have been very clear that the Iranian Regime is responsible for this, the Iranian Regime fired back by releasing a statement attacking Israel and deflecting. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said:
“The Zionist regime (Israel) has created insecurity, terror and violence ... these accusations about Iran’s involvement are condemned by Tehran.”
Secretary Blinken's statement, while welcomed, was extremely weak and was only released after Israel and the U.K. came out with strong statements.
The Biden administration continues to take a reactionary position on foreign policy issues instead of being proactive and leading with strength that the American people grew to love from President Trump.
The time is now for President Biden to get tough on the Iranian Regime before more innocent lives are lost at the hands of the terrorist regime in Iran. Enough is enough, President Biden. Where is your moral compass?
Bryan E. Leib is the Executive Director of Iranian Americans for Liberty. Formerly, he served as the National Director for Americans Against Antisemitism and in 2018, he was a GOP Endorsed Congressional Candidate (PA-03). He tweets at @Bryan_E_Leib. Read Bryan E. Leib's Reports — More Here.