Tel Aviv / Tehran (dpa) – According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tehran, the Iranian freighter “Iran-Saviz” was slightly damaged in an explosion in the Red Sea on Tuesday evening.
Fortunately, the crew were not seriously injured in the incident, State Department spokesman Said Chatibsadeh said Tuesday, according to Isna news agency. The competent authorities would investigate the exact causes of the incident. Legal action would also be taken if necessary.
The spokesman did not respond to a report in the New York Times that it was allegedly an Israeli attack on the ship. Israel did not initially comment on the report either. “We do not comment on reports in the foreign media,” said an Israeli military spokeswoman in Tel Aviv.
The New York Times quoted an unnamed US representative as saying that Israel had informed the US that its forces had attacked the ship. It is in response to previous Iranian attacks on Israeli ships. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Iran in March for an explosion on an Israeli company’s cargo ship in the Gulf of Oman.
Iranian news agency Tasnim had reported that the ship “Iran-Saviz” ran into a mine in the Red Sea on Tuesday evening and was damaged by the explosion. It is a ship whose task is to escort Iranian merchant ships in the Red Sea. Tasnim has not provided further details.
According to the American website GlobalSecurity.org, the damaged freighter is being used as a tender by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Navy. The spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tehran described the ship as a “security guarantor for shipping lanes”. The New York Times reported that the freighter had served military purposes. The Israeli daily “Haaretz” wrote, citing reports, that the “Saviz” had served as a command center for operations in Yemen and Africa.
Israel has been Iran’s greatest nemesis since the Islamic Revolution 42 years ago. In recent years, there have been repeated reports of a “shadow war” on both sides. Israel regularly attacks targets in Syria. These attacks often target pro-Iranian militias. Israel wants to reduce the military influence of Iran, which is allied with the government in Damascus, in the neighboring civil war country.
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