Israel Declares It Is Ready To Attack Iran Following Oil Tanker Drone Strike

Israel is prepared to attack Iran, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz was quoted as saying on Thursday, a week after an Israeli-linked oil tanker was attacked in the Gulf of Oman by what Israel, the U.S., and the UK said was Iran.

Bloomberg reported that Gantz answered “Yes” when asked by Bloomberg if Israel was ready for an attack on Iran.

The tensions in the Middle East, and especially between Israel and Iran, have escalated in the past week after the drone attack on the oil tanker Mercer Street, which killed two crew members. The attack was blamed by Iran, the United States and the UK.

“Upon review of the available information, we are confident that Iran conducted this attack, which killed two innocent people, using one-way explosive UAVs, a lethal capability it is increasingly employing throughout the region,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement on Sunday.

The Middle East tensions further escalated earlier this week, when a tanker carrying bitumen was the target of a hijacking attempt in the Gulf of Oman in which it was ordered to travel to Iran.

In response to Israeli defense minister’s words that Israel was prepared to attack Iran, the spokesman of Iran’s Foreign Ministry, Saeed Khatibzadeh, tweeted on Thursday:

“Israeli regime threatens #Iran with military action in another brazen violation Of Int’l Law.” Blind Western support is the reason for such vile behavior. This is what we say: Any foolish act against Iran will result in a DECISIVE response. We won’t be tested.”

The flare-up of tensions in the Middle East comes just hardline President Ebrahim Raisi was sworn in, with the oil market still wondering when the nuclear talks could resume.

Oil prices have seen some support from rising tensions in the Middle East, but market participants were more concerned about potential demand loss due to surging COVID cases and renewed travel restrictions in China, the world’s largest oil importer.

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