Iran’s foreign ministry dismissed on Monday Washington’s assertions that a drone attacked a tanker off the coast of India and labeled them as “baseless.” The incident on Saturday, targeting a Japanese-owned chemical tanker, coincided with a series of drone and missile attacks by Yemen’s Iran-backed Huthi rebels in the Red Sea, expressing solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza amid the conflict with Hamas militants. The Pentagon later directly accused Tehran of orchestrating the attack.

“We unequivocally reject and deem as baseless the claims made by the United States,” declared foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani in response to the US accusations.

“These assertions are intended to divert public attention and mask the full support of the American government for the actions of the Zionist regime (Israel) in Gaza,” he added.

The Gaza Strip has witnessed more than 11 weeks of Israeli air and ground attacks, resulting in over 20,400 casualties, primarily among women and children, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-run coastal territory.

Israel has vowed to retaliate against Hamas following a cross-border attack on October 7, which claimed the lives of approximately 1,140 people in Israel, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli figures. Palestinian militants also abducted around 250 people, with 129 reportedly still in Gaza, as stated by Israel.

Kanani also criticized recent comments by UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron as “repetitive” and “threadbare.” Cameron had labeled Iran a “malign influence in the region and the world” and called for “deterrent measures” against it.

While Iran provides financial and military support to Hamas, it hailed the October 7 attacks as a “success” while denying direct involvement.

Recent Yemeni rebel attacks on shipping vessels in the Red Sea have led major companies to reroute their cargo vessels around the southern tip of Africa, resulting in longer voyages and higher fuel costs.

Iran consistently denies US and Israeli accusations of involvement in attacks by the Huthis, asserting that the group operates independently.

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