“This was indeed an operation by Iran. That is clear.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has confirmed the Iranian hand in Friday’s explosion on an Israeli-owned cargo ship in the Gulf of Oman.
“This was indeed an operation by Iran. That is clear,” the Israeli prime minister said, referring to the attack on an Israeli ship sailing towards the Strait of Hormuz.
The Israeli military is also convinced of Iran’s complicity in the attack on the high seas.
“Just over the weekend we got a reminder in one of these theaters of one of the greatest threats in the region, Iran, and we got a reminder that Iran not only is a nuclear threat, but that it spreads and carries out terror and operations against civilian targets,” head of Israeli armed forces, Aviv Kohavi, said on Sunday.
The Israeli merchant vessel bound for Singapore was “hit in its bow by a missile or underwater mine causing damage,” the Jerusalem Post reported. The crew emerged unscathed and the damaged ship made it ashore, Israeli media say.
The Associated Press reported Prime Minister Netanyahu’s comments:
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday accused Iran of attacking an Israeli-owned ship in the Gulf of Oman last week, a mysterious explosion that further spiked security concerns in the region. (…) Netanyahu told Israeli public broadcaster Kan that “it was indeed an act by Iran, that’s clear.”
“Iran is the greatest enemy of Israel, I am determined to halt it. We are hitting it in the entire region,” Netanyahu said. Iran promptly dismissed the charges.
The blast struck the Israeli-owned MV Helios Ray, a Bahamian-flagged roll-on, roll-off vehicle cargo ship, as it was sailing out of the Middle East on its way to Singapore on Friday. The crew was unharmed, but the vessel sustained two holes on its port side and two on its starboard side just above the waterline, according to American defense officials.
The ship came to Dubai’s port for repairs on Sunday, days after the blast that revived security concerns in Mideast waterways amid heightened tensions with Iran. (…)
Over the weekend, Israel’s defense minister and army chief had both indicated they held Iran responsible for what they said was an attack on the vessel.
The attack comes as President Joe Biden is weakening the sanctions pressure on Iran in hopes of cutting an Obama-style deal with the regime. Tehran has responded to the Biden administration’s measures with intensifying rockets attacks on the U.S. troops in Iraq.
Iran has a history of using attacks in the Strait of Hormuz to intimate Western powers and neighboring Arab countries.
In June 2019, Tehran attacked a Norwegian-owned and a Japanese-owned oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman. Following the attack, the head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), a U.S.-designated terrorist group, boasted the regime’s ability to target foreign vessels on the high seas. Iranian “missiles can hit with great precision carriers in the sea,” IRGC chief Hossein Salami claimed.
In early January, Iran captured a South Korean tanker. Tehran’s maritime hostage-taking forced Seoul to release assets worth $1 billion frozen in the wake of the U.S. sanctions placed by former President Donald Trump.
These recent Iranian acts of aggression in the Strait of Hormuz should be a matter of global concern. About one-third of the world’s oil supply goes through this busy shipping lane.
“Israel’s defense minister accuses Iran of striking its carrier in Gulf of Oman”DONATE
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