'Don't test us': Iran warns Israel against military action over tanker attack

Iranians walk past a mural displaying Iran's national flag in Tehran. PHOTO: AFP

TEHERAN (AFP) - Iran's foreign ministry on Thursday (Aug 5) warned arch-foe Israel not to take military action against the Islamic republic after it threatened Teheran over a deadly tanker attack.

"In another brazen violation of Int'l law, Israeli regime now blatantly threatens Iran with military action," ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Twitter.

The MT Mercer Street, managed by prominent Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer, was attacked off Oman last week.

A British security guard and a Romanian crew member were killed in what the United States, Britain and the vessel's operator Zodiac Maritime said appeared to be a drone strike.

On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that his government was "working on enlisting the world" in response to the attack but warned "we also know how to act alone".

"The Iranians need to understand that it is impossible to sit peacefully in Tehran and from there ignite the entire Middle East. That is over," he said.

Both the United States and Israel have said their intelligence assessments of the July 29 incident concluded that an Iranian drone attacked the ship, charges Iran denies.

"We state this clearly: ANY foolish act against Iran will be met with a DECISIVE response," Khatizbadeh said.

"Don't test us," he warned.

There have been several reported attacks on Iranian ships in recent months that Teheran has linked to Israel.

In March, Iran said it was "considering all options" after an attack on a cargo ship in the Mediterranean that it blamed on Israel.

In April, Teheran said its freighter Saviz was hit by an "explosion" in the Red Sea, after media reports said Israel had targeted the ship.

The New York Times reported that it was an Israeli "retaliatory" attack, after "Iran's earlier strikes on Israeli ships".

Iran has also accused Israel of sabotaging its nuclear sites and killing a number of its scientists.

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