NATO, EU join Iran’s criticism of merchant ship attack
BRUSSELS – The NATO military alliance and the European Union on Tuesday joined a growing chorus of international condemnation of Iran’s alleged attack on a merchant ship in the Arabian Sea last week and urged Tehran to respect its international obligations.
Last Thursday’s drone strike on MV Mercer Street killed a British national and a Romanian. It was the first known fatal strike against commercial shipping in the region after years of tension over the tattered nuclear deal between Western countries and Iran.
NATO spokesman Dylan White said the 30-country alliance joins members from the United States, United Kingdom and Romania “in strongly condemning the recent deadly attack on MV Street Mercer off Oman, and express our condolences to Romania and the UK for the losses. they suffered.
“Freedom of navigation is vital for all NATO allies and must be respected in accordance with international law,” White said. “The allies remain concerned about Iran’s destabilizing actions in the region and call on Tehran to respect its international obligations.
The US-led military alliance plays no role in the region or in the Iran nuclear deal, although some of its member countries do.
The EU, meanwhile, deplored the attack, expressed condolences to the victims and called for a full independent investigation.
“Such acts contrary to the safety and freedom of navigation in the region are unacceptable,” said European Commission spokesperson Nabila Massrali. “All parties concerned must avoid any actions that could undermine regional peace and stability. “
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