Israel Accuses IRGC of Attacking Its Cargo Ship in Gulf of Oman

 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday accused Iran of attacking an Israeli cargo ship in the Gulf of Oman last week, a mysterious explosion that further spiked security concerns in the region.

Without offering any evidence to his claim, Netanyahu told Israeli public broadcaster Kan that “it was indeed an act by Iran, that’s clear.”

“Iran is the greatest enemy of Israel, I am determined to halt it. We are hitting it in the entire region,” Netanyahu said. Iran promptly dismissed the charges.

The blast struck the Israeli-owned MV Helios Ray in , a Bahamian-flagged roll-on, roll-off vehicle cargo ship, as it was sailing in the Gulf of Oman on its way to Singapore on Friday. The crew was unharmed, but the vessel sustained two holes on its port side and two on its starboard side just above the waterline, according to American defense officials.

The ship came to Dubai’s port for repairs on Sunday, days after the blast that revived security concerns in Mideast waterways amid heightened tensions with Iran.

Iran has sought to pressure the U.S. to lift sanctions on Tehran as President Joe Biden’s administration considers option for returning to negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program. Biden has said repeatedly the U.S. would return to the nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers that his predecessor, Donald Trump, withdrew from in 2018 only after Iran restores its full compliance with the accord.

Israeli defense officials were quoted as saying they believe Iranian IRGC Naval forces fired two missiles, targeting a part of the ship. But Alon Ben David, a senior defense correspondent for Israel’s Channel 13 reported Sunday night that an examination of the ship revealed it had been hit by naval mines. It is still unclear in which port the magnetic mines were affixed to the side of the hull of the MV Helios Ray, a vehicle carrier that flew the flag of Bahamas but was owned by Israeli businessman Avraham (Rami) Unger.

Israel is convinced the IRGC Navy is behind the attack.

Read complete article at: AP News

Also read: Biden Orders Missile Strike on Iran-backed Militia in Syria

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