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Tanker attack: Tensions rise as Iran and Israel trade accusations Tanker attack: Tensions rise as Iran and Israel trade accusations
(about 1 hour later)
Naftali Bennett raised speculation about retaliation, saying "we know how to send a message to Iran in our own way"Naftali Bennett raised speculation about retaliation, saying "we know how to send a message to Iran in our own way"
Israel's PM has said he knows "with certainty" Iran was involved in a deadly tanker attack off Oman, accusations Tehran called "baseless".Israel's PM has said he knows "with certainty" Iran was involved in a deadly tanker attack off Oman, accusations Tehran called "baseless".
Two crew members died when the MV Mercer Street, operated by an Israeli-owned firm, was attacked on Thursday.Two crew members died when the MV Mercer Street, operated by an Israeli-owned firm, was attacked on Thursday.
Israeli PM Naftali Bennett warned "we know how to send a message to Iran", while Tehran said it would "not hesitate to defend its interests".Israeli PM Naftali Bennett warned "we know how to send a message to Iran", while Tehran said it would "not hesitate to defend its interests".
There have been several recent attacks on Israeli- and Iranian-operated ships.There have been several recent attacks on Israeli- and Iranian-operated ships.
The attacks since March have been seen as tit-for-tat incidents.The attacks since March have been seen as tit-for-tat incidents.
The BBC's security correspondent, Frank Gardner, says this undeclared shadow war - and its counter-denials - had been heating up, but the human casualties on the Mercer Street marked a significant escalation.The BBC's security correspondent, Frank Gardner, says this undeclared shadow war - and its counter-denials - had been heating up, but the human casualties on the Mercer Street marked a significant escalation.
A British security guard and a Romanian crew member died on the Zodiac Maritime-owned vessel, with the operator and the US pointing to a drone attack. A British security guard and a Romanian crew member died on the Zodiac Maritime-operated vessel, with the US pointing to a drone attack.
Iran's foreign ministry spokesman, Saeed Khatibzadeh, told reporters Israel "must stop such baseless accusations".Iran's foreign ministry spokesman, Saeed Khatibzadeh, told reporters Israel "must stop such baseless accusations".
He said of the allegations: "Whoever sows the wind reaps the whirlwind."He said of the allegations: "Whoever sows the wind reaps the whirlwind."
Mr Bennett told a cabinet meeting on Sunday intelligence evidence existed that Iran had carried out the attack.Mr Bennett told a cabinet meeting on Sunday intelligence evidence existed that Iran had carried out the attack.
He called on the international community to make it clear that Iran had "made a serious mistake".He called on the international community to make it clear that Iran had "made a serious mistake".
He added: "In any case, we know how to send a message to Iran in our own way."He added: "In any case, we know how to send a message to Iran in our own way."
EXPLAINED: Iran and Israel's shadow warEXPLAINED: Iran and Israel's shadow war
Iran has also accused Israel of attacks on its nuclear sites and scientists.Iran has also accused Israel of attacks on its nuclear sites and scientists.
It comes against a backdrop of talks in Vienna that are trying to revive a 2015 international deal under which sanctions on Iran are lifted in return for commitments from Tehran to curb its nuclear programme. Western countries accuse Iran of trying to build a nuclear bomb. Iran, in turn, denies this, insisting its nuclear programme is focused on research and power generation.It comes against a backdrop of talks in Vienna that are trying to revive a 2015 international deal under which sanctions on Iran are lifted in return for commitments from Tehran to curb its nuclear programme. Western countries accuse Iran of trying to build a nuclear bomb. Iran, in turn, denies this, insisting its nuclear programme is focused on research and power generation.