Tories and Labour condemn attack on Israeli-operated tanker
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Tories and Labour condemn attack on Israeli-operated tanker

Dominic Raab and Lisa Nandy both blame Iran for the incident in which a British national and a Romanian citizen were killed

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab leaves a cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street, London. Photo credit : Aaron Chown/PA Wire
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab leaves a cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street, London. Photo credit : Aaron Chown/PA Wire
An attack on an Israeli-operated tanker, which has been widely blamed on Iran, has been condemned by both the Conservative Party, and by Labour.

The MV Mercer Street, operated by an Israeli-owned firm, was attacked off Oman on Thursday.

A British national and a Romanian citizen were killed.

The incident appears to be the latest escalation in an undeclared “shadow war” between Israel and Iran.

On Monday, Middle East minister James Cleverly summoned Iranian diplomat Mohsen Baharvand to a meeting at the Foreign Office to discuss the issue.

Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said there was “evidence” that its longstanding foe Iran was responsible.

Mr Bennett warned that “we know how to send a message to Iran in our own way”, while Tehran rejected what it called the “baseless accusations”.

In a statement on Sunday, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said London believed Iran had used one or more drones against the MV Mercer Street, calling it “deliberate, targeted, and a clear violation of international law”.

“Iran must end such attacks, and vessels must be allowed to navigate freely,” he added.

Meanwhile, Lisa Nandy, Labour’s shadow foreign secretary said: “This reckless Iranian attack on a merchant vessel in international waters is a flagrant breach of international law.

“It is tragic that this has led to the death of two sailors, including one Briton. We send our deepest condolences to their families.

“The Prime Minister must make it clear to the incoming Iranian President that lawless actions will carry costs. This is the moment where Britain must show we are resolute in our determination to end this pattern of behaviour.

“The breakdown of a clear strategy to deal with Iran has not served the UK or our allies well in recent years. The Foreign Secretary must now make it a priority to pursue coordinated international efforts to tackle these actions by the Iranian Government.”

Israel’s PM has said it expected the international community to make clear to Iran that it had made a serious mistake.

Responding to accusations that Iran was responsible for the attack foreign minister Saeed Khatibzadeh, told reporters that “the Zionist regime (Israel) has created insecurity, terror and violence”.

He said Israel “must stop such baseless accusations”, warning: “Whoever sows the wind reaps the whirlwind.”

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