Iran has claimed it was not involved in the July 29 attack on an oil tanker run by Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofera off the coast of Oman, which left two dead and which Israel blamed on the Islamic Republic.
The Islamic Republic of Iran on August 1 described as “unfounded” the allegations of Israel accusing it of being at the origin of an attack carried out in the Arabian Sea against an oil tanker managed by an Israeli billionaire, latest showdown between the two enemy countries.
On July 29, the tanker Mercer street, owned by businessman and billionaire Eyal Ofera, was the target of a drone attack in the Arabian Sea, according to the US military, whose ships are present in the region. The attack, which has not been claimed, left two dead, a Briton employed by the Ambrey security company and a Romanian crew member, according to the shipowner Zodiac Maritime, an international company based in London and owned by Eyal Ofera. Israel immediately pointed the finger at Iran, its Foreign Minister Yair Lapid accusing the Islamic Republic on July 30 of being “an exporter of terrorism, destruction and instability which hurts everyone”. He called for action against this country at the UN.
He who sows the wind reaps the storm
“The Zionist regime must stop [lancer] such unfounded accusations, ”retorted Iranian Foreign Affairs spokesman Saïd Khatibzadeh at a press conference in Tehran. Israel “must know that blaming others will not solve its problems.” “He who sows the wind reaps the storm,” he added. “Iran will not hesitate for a moment to defend its interests and its national security,” Khatibzadeh said, affirming that “this is not the first time that[Israël] brings such accusations against Iran ”.
The company Dryad Global, specializing in maritime security, spoke of new “reprisals in the shadow war between the two powers”, with reference to Iran and Israel. the Mercer street was sailing without cargo from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania to Fujairah (United Arab Emirates), when he was targeted, according to Zodiac Maritime, which operates the Japanese vessel flying the Liberian flag.
Several skirmishes at sea since March
This is the latest manifestation of the enmity between Iran and Israel. On March 10, a cargo ship of the Iranian state-owned shipping company IRISL, Iran Shahr-e-Kord, was hit in the hull by an explosive device in the Mediterranean. Tehran then asserted that “everything suggests that the regime of occupation of Jerusalem [Israël dans la phraséologie officielle iranienne] is behind this operation ”.
In April, Iran announced that an Iranian “trading vessel”, the Saviz, had been damaged in the Red Sea by an explosion of undetermined origin. the New York Times then reported that the Saviz was targeted by an Israeli “retaliatory” attack after “Iran’s previous strikes against Israeli ships.”
In March, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing US and Middle Eastern officials, whom Israel had targeted since late 2019, mainly with undersea mines, at least a dozen ships en route to Syria and carrying, in most cases, Iranian oil. Iranian authorities have further accused or suspected Israel of sabotaging some of its uranium enrichment facilities.