On Thursday, Iran vowed it would respond to a recent attack on a cargo ship in the Red Sea, once it uncovers the source of the assault, a statement that came after Israel reportedly claimed its forces attacked the vessel.
Officials from the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) have called for a probe into the leak of an alleged sensitive operation that was recently conducted by the IDF against Iran, to foreign media, according to The Jerusalem Post.
The reported call comes a few days after The New York Times cited an unnamed source as saying that Israel notified the United States that its forces had attacked an Iranian cargo ship, the Saviz, in the Red Sea.
The Jerusalem Post reported that Tel Aviv revealing its involvement in the attack was “unusual in that generally Israel prefers to keep a low profile if it undertakes such attacks in order to provide the attacked-side, here Iran, an alibi to save face and avoid needing to retaliate”.
Senior Israeli officials have not commented on the matter yet.
The developments followed Iranian Armed Forces spokesman Maj. Gen. Abu Al-Fadel Shkarji stating on Thursday that the Islamic Republic will retaliate for a recent attack on the Saviz, once it uncovers who was behind it.
“We need to ascertain the source of the incident. If we uncover the source of the attack on the ship, we will definitely respond, we will never be silent. In any case, the ship was targeted, and now different things may have happened to the ship. But we cannot take a decision on what we are going to do until after our investigations are concluded with utmost accuracy”, the spokesman pointed out.
He added that Iran considers its traditional adversaries, the United States and Israel, as well as their allies in the Middle East, to be linked to the incident.
#Israel is playing a game it cannot sustain. @netanyahu is desperate to drag #Iran into a war but won’t succeed. Expect more Israeli ship to suffer further unknown attacks or another front to be hit (Houthis versus Saudi oil).
Iran is not #Syria.https://t.co/2lnC1gPzpU
— Elijah J. Magnier (@ejmalrai) April 6, 2021
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh, for his part, confirmed that the explosion occurred on board the Saviz on Tuesday morning near the coast of Djiboutif and “caused minor damage with no casualties”.
Earlier in the week, the channel Al Arabiya reported, citing sources that an Iranian cargo ship belonging to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) had been attacked off the coast of Eritrea in the Red Sea. The incident reportedly occurred due to an explosion of mines planted in the vessel’s hull.
Over the past several years, the Saviz has been engaged in the observation and support of Iranian warships, which, in turn, were sent to escort merchant ships, according to media reports.
The incident with the Saviz comes after Israeli media reported in late March that a ship from the Jewish state was hit by an Iranian missile in the Arabian Sea, something that followed a February attack on another Israeli vessel, MV Helios Ray, which was also attributed to Iran.
Tehran vehemently denied the allegations, calling them an elaborate “false flag operation” as Tel Aviv did not provide any evidence supporting its claims.