Fresh problems are brewing in Iran-Israel relations as reports of a new cargo ship attack in the Red Sea emerged. An Iranian cargo ship has been targeted by a limpet mine, reported Semi-Official Iranian News Agency, Tasnim.
The ship was under fire as it was near the coast of Eritrea which was part of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. However, there isn’t any evidence to support the connection.
Identifying the ship as Iran Saviz, the News Agency, Tasnim said the vessel was in the Red Sea for the past few years to support Iranian commandos who go on anti-piracy escort missions on commercial vessels.
The Tussle To Relieve Sanctions
Israeli and Iranian cargo ships have been on a tussle since February last year as ships after ships are being attacked in the region. The arch enemies have been fierce in their allegations and this fresh attack will add to it.
Things intensified as soon as the new US President, Joe Biden took office, making it quite prominent that this is a tactic to lift the sanctions imposed on Iran. So far the 2 countries have shied away from any direct negotiations and are waiting for a response from the other side.
While Iran expects that the new US administration will lift the sanctions, the US expects Iran to fully comply with the nuclear deal terms to lift sanctions. The 2 countries started indirect talks in Vienna this week to revive the deal. Both the countries have termed the talks “constructive”.
Israel on the other hand has said that they won’t be returning to the dangerous nuclear accord any time soon.
Speaking to the country’s lawmakers, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said,
“In parallel, we must continue to fend off Iranian belligerence in our region. And this threat is no theoretical matter. I’m not uttering it rhetorically. We must take action in the face of the fanatical regime in Iran, which simply threatens to wipe us off the face of the earth.”
Meanwhile, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said “The Biden administration is not anticipating any changes on Iran policy amid the negotiations over reinstating the nuclear deal”.
Recent Ship Attacks
3 such attacks have happened on Israeli and Iranian vessels since February 25. Back in March, an Israeli cargo ship was blasted by alleged Iranian forces missile in the Arabian Sea which damaged the ship However, it was repaired in time and continued its journey.
Prior to that, an Iranian container ship was hit by an explosion in the Mediterranean. Israel was deemed as the perpetrator behind the incident
In February an Israeli ship was blasted in the Gulf of Oman which left holes on both the starboard and port side of the ship. Iran was blamed for the explosion as Israel alleged that Iran used limpet mines to target the ship
The fresh attack on the Iranian ship is the 4th incident happening in 3 months.