Dubai, United Arab Emirates (AP) —Tehran admitted on Wednesday that an Iranian cargo ship, believed to be the base of a paramilitary revolutionary defense force and long moored in the Red Sea off Yemen, was attacked.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry has confirmed an alleged attack on MVSaviz by Israel.The raid came as follows Iran and the world’s great powers settled in Vienna Initial discussions about the possibility of the United States rejoining Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal show that future challenges go beyond just those negotiations.
The long presence of ships in the region, which has been repeatedly criticized by Saudi Arabia, has led Western and UN experts to provide weapons and support to Yemen’s Houthi rebels during the country’s many years of war. Because it says.Iran denies the Houthi armed Components found in rebel weapons are linked to Tehran..
Iran has previously described Saviz as supporting “anti-piracy” efforts in the Red Sea and the Bab al-Mandeb Strait. This is an important chokepoint for international shipping. A statement by Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh described the vessel as a commercial vessel.
“Fortunately, no casualties have been reported … and technical investigations are underway. Our country will take all necessary steps through international authorities.”
Anchor quoted in a previous state television statement The story of the New York TimesCited an anonymous US official who told the newspaper that Israel had informed the United States that it had attacked the ship on Tuesday morning. Israeli authorities refused to comment on the case, as the owner of Saviz did, when the Associated Press contacted him.
However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raised Iran in his speech to the Likud Party on Tuesday after being asked to form a government after Iran’s recent elections.
“We must not return to a dangerous nuclear deal with Iran, as nuclear Iran is an existential threat to the state of Israel and a major threat to global security,” Netanyahu said.
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani called the story of Vienna “success” while talking to his cabinet on Wednesday.
“Today, there is one unified statement that all sides of the nuclear deal have concluded that there is no better solution than the deal,” he said.
Iran’s semi-official Tasnim News Agency, believed to be near the guards, has accused the explosion of explosives planted on Sabiz’s hull. It did not blame anyone for the attack, saying Iranian authorities are likely to provide more information in the coming days.
In a statement, the U.S. Central Command only said, “I knew media coverage of the incident involving Saviz in the Red Sea.”
“We can confirm that the U.S. military was not involved in the incident,” said Command. “No additional information to provide.”
According to ship tracking data, Saviz, owned by the state-owned Iranian Islamic Republic shipping company, arrived in the Red Sea in late 2016. Since then, it has drifted from the Dahlak Islands, a series of islands off the coast of the African country Eritrea near the Red Sea. By passing through an Iranian ship using a waterway, it is likely that he received supplies and replaced his crew.
A Saudi military briefing document previously obtained by AP showed men in camouflage uniforms, military uniforms, and small boats capable of carrying cargo along the Yemeni coast. The briefing material also includes photographs showing the various antennas of the vessel, which the Saudi Arabian government said was unusual for a commercial cargo ship, suggesting that it had conducted electronic surveillance. Other images show that the ship had a mount for a .50 caliber machine gun.
The Washington, Near East Policy Institute calls Saviz the “Iranian mothership” of the region, as well as an intelligence base and guard arsenal. The Institute’s policy documents do not explain how they came to that conclusion, but their analysts have access to military intelligence sources in the Gulf and Israel on a daily basis.
Saviz was subject to international sanctions until Iran signed a nuclear deal with a world power in 2015. This allowed Tehran to receive financial relief instead of limiting uranium enrichment. The Trump administration later renewed US sanctions on Saviz as part of its decision to unilaterally withdraw from the agreement.
In June 2019, Saudi Arabia flew severely ill Iranians out of Saviz after Tehran requested assistance through the United Nations.
In the wider tension between the United States and Iran, a series of mysterious explosions targeted ships in the region. Some U.S. Navy accused Iran..Some of the recently damaged ships Israeli-owned car carrier in Netanyahu’s blame for Iran..the other one is Mediterranean Iranian freighter..
Iran has also blamed a series of recent attacks, including Israel. A mysterious explosion in July that destroyed an advanced centrifuge assembly plant At that Natanz nuclear facility.The other is the November killing Mosen Fafrizade, Iran’s top scientist who founded the Islamic Republican military nuclear program 20 years ago.
Associated Press journalists Nasser Karimi and Mehdi Fattahi in Tehran, Iran contributed to this report.
Follow Jon Gambrell on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jongambrellAP.