TEHRAN– The commercial Iran-Saviz ship was targeted with landmines in the Red Sea on Tuesday morning.
Iran said on Wednesday that technical investigations are underway into how the incident happened.
It is said that the incident occurred due to explosion of landmines in the hull of the ship.
The ship has been stationed in the Red Sea for the past few years to support Iranian commandos sent on commercial vessel escort missions.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said the Saviz ship was struck by a blast at around 6 a.m. local time (0300 GMT) on Tuesday, April 5, near the coast of Djibouti, and sustained minor damage, according to Press TV.
Khatibzadeh added, “Fortunately, no casualties were reported as a result of the accident, and technical investigations are underway into how the accident happened and its origin, and Iran will take all necessary measures through international authorities in this regard.”
Khatibzadeh said the Saviz is a non-military vessel, whose specifications and mission have been formally registered with the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
“According to a previous official announcement and coordination with the International Maritime Organization as the reference body, the Saviz civilian ship was stationed in the Red Sea region and the Gulf of Aden to provide maritime security along the shipping lanes and to fight pirates. This ship practically acted as a logistics station (technical support and logistics) of Iran in the Red Sea, and therefore the specifications and mission of this ship had previously been officially announced to the organization,” Khatibzadeh stressed.
Israel is considered the chief culprit for the incident.
According to New York Times, “…an American official said the Israelis had notified the United States that its forces had struck the vessel at about 7:30 a.m. local time.”
The unnamed U.S. official said Israel called the strike a retaliation, and that the ship had been hit below the waterline.
The damage to the Iranian vessel came on the first day of constructive negotiations between Iran and P4+1 group. Considering that Israel had previously expressed deep concerns over the restoration of the JCPOA, the strike would not be much of a shock. The Israeli officials have not taken an official stance yet, but sabotage of the Iran nuclear deal is something they do in the most disgusting way possible.
In a similar incident last month, an Iranian cargo ship sustained damages after it was targeted by a terrorist attack en route to Europe in the Mediterranean Sea.
Tehran said back then that such acts of terror are a clear example of naval piracy and run counter to international law on the safety of commercial vessels.
On February 25, an explosion struck Israeli-owned and the Bahamas-flagged ship, the MV Helios Ray, in the Sea of Oman near the strategic mouth of the Persian Gulf.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hastily accused Iran of attacking the ship. Iran categorically rejected the charge.
Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations Majid Takht Ravanchi, in a letter, addressed to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on March 5, warned of consequences of any possible miscalculated measure by Israel over the explosion.
“The incident has all the characteristic of a complicated false flag operation carried out by actors in order to pursue their malign policies and to advance their illegitimate objectives,” Takht Ravanchi wrote.
Original News : https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/459565/Tehran-says-studying-attack-on-vessel-in-Red-Sea