Israel talks Iran with envoys from Security Council states

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel summoned Wednesday ambassadors of U.N. Security Council member states and urged for action against Iran following last week’s drone strike off the coast of Oman on a merchant vessel linked to an Israeli billionaire.

A joint statement by the defense and foreign affairs ministry said that Israel called on the diplomats to have their governments “set clear boundaries for Iran … to cease its aggressive conduct.” At the same time, it restated that “Israel will maintain the right to act independently in the face of any attack or threat to its citizens and sovereignty.”

The United States, Britain and Israel have all blamed Iran for the drone strike on the Mercer Street last week that killed two, a British national and a Romanian. Iran has denied involvement in the incident.

While no one has claimed responsibility for the attack, Iran and its militia allies have used similar so-called “suicide” drones in attacks around the region. The Persian Gulf has seen a rise in attacks on commercial vessels in the aftermath of the disintegration of the Iran nuclear deal in 2018.

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz told diplomats that Iran “violated all of the guidelines” set in the now defunct nuclear deal, saying it was “time for diplomatic, economic and even military deeds — otherwise the attacks will continue.”

Israel has called for international pressure to halt what it has described as growing regional aggression by Iran, while also threatening to act alone to prevent its arch-enemy from obtaining nuclear weapons.

“This is an attack on the world’s trade routes, this is an attack on freedom of movement. This is an international crime,” said Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid.

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