Cairo (Reuters)-Al Arabiya TV reported on Tuesday that an Iranian cargo ship was attacked in the Red Sea, citing unnamed sources.
Al Arabiya quoted sources as saying that the ship was attacked off the coast of Eritrea and belonged to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, but did not provide evidence to support this claim.
Tasnim identified the ship as the Iranian Saviz. The report said: “The Iranian Saviz has been stationed in the Red Sea for the past few years to support the dispatch of Iranian special commandos to carry out commercial vessel (anti-piracy) escort missions.”
Reuters was unable to independently verify the report. Iranian officials could not be immediately reached for comment.
This is the latest in a series of attacks on cargo ships owned by Israel and Iran since late February. In this attack, the two main enemies blamed each other.
These incidents have occurred since U.S. President Joe Biden took office in January, promising to rejoin the 2015 nuclear agreement between world powers and Iran-if Tehran resumes full compliance with the agreement, his predecessor Donald Trump has given up This move was welcomed by Israel.
Iran and the United States initiated indirect talks in Vienna on Tuesday, including other major powers on ways to restore the agreement. Both Iran and the United States called the talks “constructive.”
Netanyahu quotes “Iranian loyalty”
Israeli officials declined to comment on the reported attack on Iranian cargo ships on Tuesday.
Earlier in the day, before news of the attack, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated in a comment to lawmakers from the right-wing Likud party that there should be no return to the “dangerous” nuclear agreement. And added:
“At the same time, we must continue to resist Iran’s belligerence in our region. And this threat is not a theoretical issue. I’m not talking about rhetoric. We have to face Iran’s fanatical regime and take action because it’s a threat to make us bigger. Wipe it off the ground.”
White House spokesman Jen Psaki said on Tuesday that the Biden administration does not expect any changes in Iran’s policy during negotiations on the resumption of the nuclear agreement.
Since February 25, three more attacks have been reported against Iranian or Israeli-owned shipping.
Senior Israeli security officials said that on March 25, a cargo ship owned by an Israeli company was attacked by a missile in the Arabian Sea, suspected to be an Iranian attack. He said that the ship can continue sailing.
Two weeks ago, Iran’s official media quoted an Iranian investigator as saying that Israel was most likely behind the explosion, which caused a small fire on an Iranian container ship in the Mediterranean.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz declined to comment directly at the time, but said Iran regularly sends weapons to agents in the area.
On February 26, Netanyahu accused Iran of an explosion on an Israeli-owned vehicle ship in the Gulf of Oman. An American official said that the explosion had made holes on both sides of the hull, and an Israeli official said that a limpet was used. Iran denies responsibility for this.
Reporting by Ahmed Tolba and Dan Williams in Jerusalem; writing in the Dubai newsroom; Howard Goller and Mark Heinrich Mark Heinrich) editor