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Iran's newly elected President Ebrahim Raisi speaks at his swearing-in ceremony on Aug. 5. Photo: Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images

In a joint statement on Friday, the foreign ministers of the G7 member states condemned the attack on the Mercer Street oil tanker last week and blamed Iran for orchestrating it.

Why it matters: The joint statement is a diplomatic achievement for the U.S., the U.K. and Israel, who in recent days have sought to build as wide a coalition as possible to condemn Iran and increase the pressure on the new Iranian government.

Driving the news: The statement was signed by the foreign ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K., and the U.S. and the high representative of the European Union.

  • The statement came as the UN Security Council convened for a closed session in which members are expected to discuss the Iranian attack on the oil tanker, which killed one British national and one Romanian national.
  • Hours after the statement, U.S. Central Command published the conclusions of its investigation into the Mercer attack, including photos of the remains of drones that it said were used. CENTCOM said in a statement that the investigation concluded the drones were Iranian-made.

Behind the scenes: The G7 statement was ready for several days, but the U.S. and the U.K. faced difficulty in getting Japan to sign off.

  • Western diplomats told me that although the tanker was owned by a Japanese company, the Japanese government was hesitant to attribute the attack in fear of Iranian retaliation.
  • After several days of diplomatic consultations, the Japanese agreed. Secretary of State Blinken spoke to his Japanese counterpart shortly before the statement was published.

What they're saying: "This was a deliberate and targeted attack, and a clear violation of international law. All available evidence clearly points to Iran. There is no justification for this attack," the statement said.

  • The G7 members also stressed that vessels must be allowed to navigate freely and said they will continue to protect all shipping "so that it is able to operate freely and without being threatened by irresponsible and violent acts."
  • "Iran’s behaviour, alongside its support to proxy forces and non-state armed actors, threatens international peace and security. We call on Iran to stop all activities inconsistent with relevant UN Security Council resolutions," the statement said.

Go deeper

Oct 6, 2021 - World

Israeli foreign minister heads to D.C. to coordinate on Iran

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and Secretary of State Tony Blinken in Rome. Photo: Andrew Harnik/AFP via Getty

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid will travel to Washington next week for talks with senior Biden administration officials on Iran, Lapid’s office said.

  • Lapid is expected to meet with Secretary of State Tony Blinken, national security adviser Jake Sullivan and Vice President Kamala Harris between Oct. 12-14.
Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP senator calls for senility test for aging leaders

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), a physician, told me during an "Axios on HBO" interview that he favors cognition tests for aging leaders of all three branches of government.

Why it matters: Wisdom comes with age. But science also shows that we lose something. And much of the world is now run by old people — including President Biden, 78 ... Speaker Pelosi, 81 ...  Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, 70 ... and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, 79.

Ina Fried, author of Login
2 hours ago - Technology

Intel CEO blames predecessors for manufacturing woes

Axios on HBO

When it comes to Intel's recent manufacturing problems, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger places the blame squarely on his predecessors — many of whom he notes were not engineers deeply steeped in chip technology, as he is.

Why it matters: Gelsinger has announced a broad plan to reinvigorate Intel by doubling down on manufacturing. However, the strategy depends on the venerable semiconductor giant recovering from recent stumbles.