Dubai/Tehran/Jerusalem: In the last few years, an Iranian ship anchored in the Red Sea area was attacked. Iran has acknowledged the attack and said an investigation is underway. However, a leading US news outlet has accused Israel of striking the ship used by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. Israel has refrained from responding to the US daily’s claim. However, Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz made a suggestive statement saying, “We will take action where necessary.” Ten days ago, Israel had threatened to retaliate after one of its cargo ships was attacked.
The MV Saviz, an Iranian ship anchored in the Red Sea, experienced an explosion on Tuesday. Within hours, the Iranian Foreign Ministry announced that its ship had been attacked. Nevertheless, there were no casualties in the attack, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh informed. An Iranian daily explained that limpet mines, which attach themselves to warships or vessels from the outside, and explosives that cause a blast underwater were used in the attack. Iran has not held anyone responsible for the attack.
However, US newspaper ‘The New York Times’ has claimed that Israel was once again responsible for the Iranian ship’s attack. The daily said that the information was provided by a US official on condition of anonymity. Israel had informed the United States that an Iranian ship would be attacked on Tuesday morning, the report suggested. Earlier, the New York Times had asserted that Israel was also responsible for the attack on an Iranian ship in the Red Sea area a month ago. It has highlighted that the blast occurred while talks were underway on the Iranian nuclear deal in Vienna.
The media questioned Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz on the New York Times allegations, but he refrained from answering them. However, Gantz did make a suggestive statement and said, “Iran and its allies in the region are a threat to Israel’s security. Therefore, Israel must continue to take the steps necessary for its security. Wherever Israel’s security is challenged, action will ensue.”
Iran’s MV Saviz has been stationed in the Red Sea and off the coast of Yemen since 2016. Iran had earlier claimed that it had deployed the ship for anti-piracy operations in the Red Sea and the Bab el-Mandeb strait. However, the MV Saviz, controlled by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, is used for espionage. Saudi Arabia has previously accused the ship of being used to smuggle weapons to Houthi rebels in Yemen. Photographs of Iranian military personnel stationed on the vessel as even small Iranian patrol boats aboard were published.