The United States on Wednesday said the attack on an oil tanker off the coast of Oman was most likely conducted by an Iranian drone.
“Upon review of the available information, we are confident that Iran likely conducted this attack using [an unmanned aerial vehicle],” White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said in a statement, according to Reuters.
Israel also accused Iran of launching the armed drone attack late on Tuesday, as the weapon and the target fit the pattern of past attacks linked to Iran. Israeli officials said the weapon was an Iranian HESA Shahed 136 self-destructing drone, the same type Iran sent to Russia for use in the war against Ukraine.
“We see this as an Iranian provocation in the Gulf — it’s not an attack against Israel — it’s the same thing they usually do in the Gulf, trying to disrupt stability and mainly influence World Cup events,” an Israeli official stated, according to CNN. Ahead of the World Cup, which starts on Sunday, soccer teams and supporters from 32 nations, including Iran, are gathering in Qatar.
The company that owns the vessel, Eastern Pacific Shipping, said in a statement there was minor damage to the hull of the Pacific Zircon, but that all crew members were safe with no reported injuries.