(Bloomberg) – Israel accused Iran of attacking In the past week to one of its cargo ships in the Gulf of Oman, while tension rises over the United States’ desire to join a nuclear deal with Tehran.
“It was an act of Iran, that’s clear,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday in an interview with Kan radio, a local station. Iran “is Israel’s greatest enemy and we are attacking it throughout the region.”
Israeli media reported that the country launched missile strikes against Iranian targets in Syria over the weekend in response to the attack on the ship. The Israeli military did not comment.
The Israeli-owned aircraft carrier, the Helios Ray, was hit by an explosion while sailing 100 kilometers off the coast of Oman on February 25 or the early hours of February 26. None of the crew was injured and the ship is now docked in Dubai for repairs.
Saeed Khatibzadeh, a spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, said that “we categorically reject” Israel’s accusation that Tehran is the culprit.
Friction between the countries has been high as US President Joe Biden explores joining a 2015 deal designed to reduce Tehran’s nuclear activities. Netanyahu opposes for Washington to return to the pact and says that will pave the way for Iran to build a nuclear weapon. Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, withdrew the US from the deal in 2018 and tightened sanctions against Tehran.
Iran has accused Israel of several attacks in the past year. He said Israel sabotaged one of its nuclear facilities in July and that assassin to one of the top Iranian nuclear scientists in November.
The Helios Ray, owned by Tel Aviv-based Ray Shipping Ltd., was traveling from Dammam in Saudi Arabia to Singapore. Had crossed the Strait of Hormuz when the explosion occurred, according to tracking data compiled by Bloomberg and information from the UK Maritime Trade Operations, which serves as a link between the Royal Navy and commercial vessels in high-risk areas.
Explosion location, per UK Maritime Trade Operations. The ship is now docked in Dubai
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