Israel talks Iran with envoys from Security Council states

The National  /  August 5, 2021

Israel has called for international pressure to halt what it has described as growing ‘regional aggression’ by Iran

Israel summoned on Wednesday ambassadors from UN Security Council member states and called for action against Iran following last week’s drone strike off the coast of Oman on a merchant vessel linked to an Israeli billionaire.

A joint statement by the country’s Defence and Foreign Affairs Ministry said that Israel called on diplomats to have their governments “set clear boundaries for Iran … to cease its aggressive conduct”.

At the same time, it restated that “Israel will maintain the right to act independently in the face of any attack or threat to its citizens and sovereignty”.

The US, Britain and Israel have all blamed Iran for the drone strike on the Mercer Street that killed a British national and a Romanian.

Iran has denied involvement in the incident.

While no one has claimed responsibility for the attack, Iran and its militia allies have used similar so-called suicide drones in attacks around the region.

The Arabian Gulf has seen a rise in attacks on commercial vessels in the aftermath of the disintegration of the Iran nuclear deal in 2018.

Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz told diplomats that Iran had “violated all of the guidelines” set in the defunct nuclear deal, saying it was “time for diplomatic, economic and even military deeds — otherwise the attacks will continue”.

Israel called for international pressure to halt Iran’s increased regional aggression, while also threatening to act alone to prevent Tehran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

“This is an attack on the world’s trade routes, this is an attack on freedom of movement. This is an international crime,” said Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on Wednesday about ongoing efforts to forge a coordinated response to Iran’s attack on the Mercer Street.

Mr Blinken reiterated his condolences for the loss of a UK citizen who, along with the Romanian captain, was killed in the attack.