mercer street damage

Damage to the Mercer Street cause by an Iranian one-way Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. Image courtesy U.S. Central Command

U.S. Cites Conclusive Evidence that Iranian ‘Kamikaze’ Drone Was Used in Tanker Attack

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August 6, 2021

By David Wainer (Bloomberg) —

The U.S. cited evidence for the first time Friday to back up its assertion that Iran was behind the deadly drone attack on an Israeli-managed tanker last week.

Multiple parts of the unmanned aerial vehicle that killed two crew members were recovered and “were nearly identical to previously collected examples from Iranian one-way attack UAVs,” Captain Bill Urban, spokesman for U.S. Central Command, said in a statement. “U.S. experts concluded based on the evidence that this UAV was produced in Iran.” 

Two other drones targeting the ship were unsuccessful, he said.

Read the Central Command’s report

U.K. and Israeli explosive experts were given access to the evidence and concur with the U.S. findings, Urban said. Iran has denied it was behind the July 29 attack on the Mercer Street tanker off the coast of Oman.

The U.S. statement came as the United Nations Security Council met behind closed doors on Friday to discuss the attack, which the U.K. earlier this week blamed on Iran in a letter to the Council.

Also Friday, the G7 foreign ministers issues a statement concurring that “all available evidence clearly points to Iran.” The representatives from the U.S., U.K., Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan and the European Union’s High Representative said “there is no justification for this attack” and “we will continue to do our utmost to protect all shipping, upon which the global economy depends.”

Tensions have escalated in and around the waterways of the Persian Gulf — vital for the world’s oil markets — in the past week. The U.S. vowed a “collective response” with its allies but hasn’t suggested what form that response will take.

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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