Tehran admitted on Wednesday that an Iranian cargo ship was attacked. The cargo ship is believed to be the base of the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard and has been anchored near the Red Sea in Yemen for many years. The ship has been attacked.
The Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that the attack on MV Saviz was suspected to be carried out by Israel. At the time of the attack, Iran and the world’s powers sat down in Vienna for the first talks on the possibility of the United States rejoining the Tehran nuclear agreement, which shows that the future challenge lies not only in these negotiations.
Western and United Nations experts say that Iran has provided weapons and support to the Houthi rebels in Yemen during the country’s years of war. The ship’s long-term presence in the region has been repeatedly criticized by Saudi Arabia. Iran denies the post-armed Huss, although the parts found in the rebel weapons are linked to Tehran.
Iran previously described Saviz as contributing to “anti-piracy”
Khatibzad said: “Fortunately, there are no reports of casualties and technical investigations are underway. Our country will take all necessary measures through international authorities.”
In an earlier national television statement, a crew member cited a New York Times report that quoted an anonymous American official telling the newspaper that Israel informed the United States that it had attacked the ship on Tuesday morning. When the Associated Press contacted the owner of Savez, Israeli officials declined to comment on the incident.
However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proposed Iran in a speech by his Likud party after being asked to form a government on Tuesday.
Netanyahu said: “We must not return to a dangerous nuclear agreement with Iran, because nuclear Iran is an existential threat to the State of Israel and a major threat to the security of the entire world.”
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called the Vienna talks a “success” in a speech to the cabinet on Wednesday.
He said: “Today, someone heard a joint statement that all aspects of the nuclear agreement have concluded that there is no better solution except this agreement.”
Iran’s semi-official Tasnim News Agency (which is believed to have close ties to the guards) blamed the explosion on the explosives implanted on the hull of Savez. It did not blame anyone for the attack and said Iranian officials may provide more information in the next few days.
In a statement, the U.S. Military Central Command only stated that it “knows that the media has reported an incident involving the Red Sea Savez.”
The commander said: “We can confirm that no U.S. military was involved in this incident.” “We have no other information to provide.”
According to the ship tracking data, Saviz owned by the shipping company of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is linked to the country, came to the Red Sea at the end of 2016. In the years since then, it has drifted to the Dallac Archipelago, a series of islands in the Red Sea off the coast of the nearby African country Eritrea. It may have been resupplied and changed crews through the passage of Iranian ships passing by waterways.
Earlier briefing materials obtained by the Associated Press from the Saudi military showed that the people on board were dressed in camouflage uniforms, fatigued in military uniform, and small boats capable of transporting goods to the coast of Yemen. The briefing material also includes pictures that show the Saudi government’s claim that this cargo ship is unique, indicating that the ship is under electronic surveillance. Other images show that the ship is equipped with a stand for a .50 caliber machine gun.
The Washington Institute for Near East Policy calls Savez the “mother of Iran” in the region and also describes it as an intelligence-gathering base and an armory for the guards. The institute’s policy documents do not explain how they reached this conclusion, although the institute’s analysts usually have access to military sources in the Gulf and Israel.
Before Iran reached a nuclear agreement with world powers in 2015, Savez had been subject to international sanctions, which gave Tehran economic relief in exchange for restricting its uranium enrichment. The Trump administration subsequently imposed sanctions on Saviz in the United States as part of its unilateral withdrawal from the agreement.
In June 2019, after Tehran requested assistance through the United Nations, Saudi Arabia fled a critically ill patient from Saviz.
In the wider tension between the United States and Iran, a series of mysterious bombings attacked ships in the area, including some ships that the U.S. Navy accused Iran of. Netanyahu blamed the attack on Iran, one of the ships recently destroyed by Israel. The other is an Iranian cargo ship in the Mediterranean.
Iran also blamed Israel for a series of recent attacks, including a mysterious explosion in July that destroyed the advanced centrifuge assembly plant at its Natanz nuclear facility. The other was the killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Iran’s top scientist in November, who founded the Islamic Republic’s military nuclear program 20 years ago.
Associated Press reporter Nasser Karimi and Mehdi Fattahi of Tehran, Iran contributed to this report.
Follow Jon Gambrell on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jongambrellAP