In response to threats and accusations over an attack on an Israeli-operated tanker that killed two crew members, Iran on Monday warned that any “adventurism” would be met with a response.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran will not hesitate, even for a moment, to defend its security and national interests, and will answer any possible adventurism with immediate, powerful, and serious action,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told reporters, according to Iran’s PressTV.
Khatibzadeh said Iran “strongly condemns” statements from the US and UK accusing Tehran of being behind the attack on the tanker. Without providing evidence, the US and UK joined Israel in blaming Iran. “If they have any evidence to support their baseless claims they should provide them,” Khatibzadeh said. The deadly attack killed a British citizen, as well as a Romanian, and both countries have summoned Iranian diplomats to discuss the incident.
In a statement released Sunday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken threatened action against Iran. “We are working with our partners to consider our next steps and consulting with governments inside the region and beyond on an appropriate response, which will be forthcoming,” he said. On Monday, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz also threatened Iran and urged that Israel take action against the Islamic Republic “right now.”
Khatibzadeh also called out the US and UK for hypocrisy for not condemning Israel’s attacks on ships in the region. Reports say that Israel has attacked at least a dozen ships in the Middle East since 2019. The ships were either Iranian-owned or carrying Iranian cargo and were mostly hit while transiting the Red Sea.
“It is regrettable that these [Western] countries, which have been supportively silent in the face of terrorist sabotages and attacks on Iran’s commercial ships in the Red Sea and international waters, are now leveling politically-motivated baseless accusations against the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Khatibzadeh said.