Accusations that Iran was behind a deadly attack on a tanker off the coast of Oman were dismissed on Saturday as psychological warfare, and Tehran said it was working to improve the security of the crucial Gulf waterway.
Iran is a menace to international peace and security, according to foreign ministers from the Group of Seven affluent economies, who declared on Friday that all available evidence suggested it was behind the attack on the Mercer Street tanker last week.
“If we were to battle enemies…we would disclose it publicly, so the recent storytelling by the enemies is a psychological operation” Abolfazl Shekarchi, Iran’s chief armed forces spokesman, was cited as saying by state media.
The tanker was a Liberian-flagged, Japanese-owned petroleum product tanker that was operated by Zodiac Maritime, an Israeli company.
According to official media, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh dismissed the G7 declaration as “baseless.”
“It’s worth noting that this incident was timed to coincide with Iran’s new president’s inauguration,” Khatibzadeh stated.
Near the mouth of the Gulf, a crucial oil shipping route, a suspected drone attack killed two crew members, a Briton and a Romanian.
“Iran’s policy is to increase security in the Persian Gulf, contrary to the plan of the United States, Britain, and the Zionist regime (Israel), which aims to generate insecurity…and Iranophobia,” Shekarchi added.
The drone was built in Iran, according to explosives experts from the Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, which was dispatched to assist the Mercer Street.
“The Americans say they recovered components of Iranian drones from the ocean,” Shekarchi stated, according to the Iranian state news agency IRNA. “But in whose laboratory was this proof identified as belonging to Iran?”
“Preparing false evidence is not a difficult task because the Zionists specialize at it,” Shekarchi stated, implying that Israel was behind the attack.
Despite Iran’s protestations, the attack has been blamed on Tehran by the United Kingdom, the United States, and others. At a closed-door meeting of the United Nations Security Council, Britain raised the subject.
“Iran would not hesitate to defend itself and preserve its national interests,” said Iran’s deputy U.N. Ambassador Zahra Ershadi, dismissing the claims and warning against reprisal.