Iran was behind Mercer Street attack – .

Iran was behind Mercer Street attack – .

The US Central Command announced, following an investigation, that Iran was behind the attack on the motor oil tanker Mercer Street which left two crew members dead on July 30.

The investigation revealed that Mercer Street was the target of two unsuccessful explosive unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) attacks on the evening of July 29, both of which were reported by the crew via distress calls. The investigative team found small remains of at least one of the drones, which the crew had rescued from the sea, corroborating the reports and proving their credibility

Significant damage to Mercer Street a day later, July 30, was the result of a third UAV attack.
The UAV was loaded with military grade explosives which created a 6 foot hole in the upper wheelhouse and severely damaged the interior. Two crew members, a Romanian citizen and a British national were killed in the blast. Explosive chemical tests indicated the presence of a nitrate-based explosive, which led investigators to conclude that the UAV was intentionally built to damage the ship and injure those on board. .

A satellite image shows the damaged Mercer Street tanker moored off Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, August 4, 2021. (MAXAR TECHNOLOGIES / HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

Several parts of the third UAV, including a wing section and some internal components, were recovered during the investigation and, upon inspection, were found to be almost identical to the examples previously collected from Iranian one-way UAVs. In addition, the location of the attack was close enough to the Iranian coast to be consistent with the documented range of said drones.

Following the on-site analysis of the evidence, the materials were transferred to the headquarters of the U.S. Fifth Fleet, which is responsible for naval forces in the Persian Gulf, for further testing and verification. In order to verify the US findings, British explosives experts were given access to Fifth Fleet headquarters in Bahrain and the evidence was shared virtually with Israeli explosives experts. British and Israeli experts agreed with the United States.

Based on the evidence, US experts decisively concluded that the UAV was produced in Iran.

Iranian ambassadors to the UK and Romania were both summoned by officials in London and Bucharest in response to the attacks, and the two countries have vowed to coordinate a joint response alongside Israel and the United States.


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