The British newspaper, The Independent, reported that Iran may be behind the attack on a cargo ship in the Indian Ocean last Saturday, mistakenly believing that it was owned by an Israeli businessman.
The CSAV Tyndall, a Liberian-flagged cargo ship that was partly owned by Israeli shipping and real estate magnate Eyal Ofer before he sold his stake in it months ago, was attacked by an unknown on its way from Jeddah to the UAE.
Intelligence reports accuse Iran of being behind the incident
According to the newspaper, reports indicate that Iran or one of its allies struck the ship based on outdated or incorrect intelligence.
“There is no sign that this ship is Israeli,” said Yoruk Isik, an Istanbul-based naval expert.
Read also: Hit by an unknown weapon… An Israeli cargo ship is burning in the northern Indian Ocean!
He added: “There are no Israeli crew members, it is traveling between two Arab cities, it must be someone who provided incorrect intelligence about the ship’s owners.”
Ship tracking services showed that the ship arrived at the main port of Jebel Ali in the UAE late Saturday evening, about six days after leaving Jeddah on the Red Sea.
In recent months, retaliatory attacks against naval vessels have escalated between Iran and Israel.
In early March, former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Iran of targeting an Israeli ship in the Gulf of Oman.
Iran, for its part, denied any role in the explosion that targeted the MV Helios Ray ship a week earlier in the Gulf of Oman.
The Israeli MV Helios Ray was apparently heading from Dammam in Saudi Arabia to Singapore when it was hit by an explosion in the northwest Gulf of Oman.
The Gulf of Oman is located between Iran and the Sultanate of Oman at the exit of the strategic Strait of Hormuz, through which a large part of the world’s oil passes and ships belonging to a coalition led by the United States roam its waters.
Washington blamed the Iranian Revolutionary Guards for disrupting maritime traffic in the strategic Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf in 2019, the passage through which a fifth of global oil production crosses daily.
And oil tankers in the Gulf region and in the Red Sea have been subjected to mysterious attacks in the past two years. Saudi Arabia and the United States blamed Iran, which denied any role in them.
On the other hand, a report published by the New York Times last March said that Israel also carried out covert operations against Iranian ships in the Mediterranean and Red Sea in response to Iranian attacks.
The 12th Hebrew Channel reported that Israeli military officials are trying to ascertain whether Iranian forces attacked an Israeli-owned cargo ship, on Saturday, while it was on its way from Jeddah to the Emirates.
The channel, quoting unnamed sources within the Israeli military establishment, said that the ship’s crew was not hurt and that no serious damage was caused to the ship.
The Lebanese Al-Mayadeen channel had reported earlier that the ship had been attacked in the Indian Ocean.
In a related context, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said on Sunday that “his country will act anywhere and anytime to prevent Tehran from acquiring a nuclear weapon,” according to what was reported by The Times of Israel.
“We are in conflict with Iran,” Gantz said in an interview with Channel 13. We must defend ourselves,” adding: “We are determined to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear state, and to prevent its negative behavior in our region.”
“They know we know how to act,” he continued.
On a separate military occasion, the Israeli Defense Minister repeated the same statements, saying: “We will do it at the appropriate time and place for us, and we will maintain our military superiority for the sake of the stability of the region and the security of the region.”
This comes in conjunction with a meeting held by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett with defense officials and diplomats regarding Iran and its nuclear program and the ongoing talks between Tehran and Washington in Vienna.
Since April, the United States has been seeking to revive the 2015 nuclear deal through indirect negotiations in the Austrian capital, an agreement that Israel strongly opposes.
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