Israel has evidence Iran behind deadly tanker attack: PM

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Sunday Israel was privy to “evidence” proving Iran was behind the deadly tanker attack off Oman, warning his country could “send a message” in retaliation.

“The intelligence evidence for this exists and we expect the international community will make it clear to the Iranian regime that they have made a serious mistake,” he said at the weekly cabinet meeting in remarks conveyed by his office.

“In any case, we know how to send a message to Iran in our own way.”

Earlier Sunday, Iran denied its involvement in the attack, with foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh saying Israel “must stop such baseless accusations”, and noting “it is not their first time to direct such accusations at Iran”.

In his remarks, Bennett slammed Iran’s “cowardly” denial, saying he could “determine with absolute certainty that Iran carried out the attack against the ship”.

“Iran’s aggressive conduct is dangerous not only to Israel, but also harms global interests, freedom of navigation and international trade,” he said. 

The MT Mercer Street, managed by prominent Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer, was struck Thursday off the coast of Oman.

Two crew members were killed, a British security guard and a Romanian crew member, in what the US military and the vessel’s operator Zodiac Maritime said appeared to have been a drone strike.