Iran Missile Hit Israel-Owned Ship in Arabian Sea, TV Says

An Iranian missile struck an Israeli ship sailing from Tanzania to India, Israel’s Channel 12 said, without saying where it got the information or how Iran was implicated.

It’s the fourth time in about a month that the bitter enemies have traded allegations of attacks at sea, and comes amid heightened tensions as Israel opposes U.S. President Joe Biden’s efforts to rejoin the 2015 deal that limited Iran’s nuclear activities.

Israel’s army spokesman didn’t comment, and there was no response from XT Management, the company Channel 12 cited as owning the Israeli ship. Officials in Iran, where a public holiday is being celebrated, couldn’t be reached for comment.

The cargo vessel continued to its destination, according to Ronen Solomon, an intelligence analyst and head of the Intelli Times blog, who confirmed details of the reported attack in the Arabian Sea with people close to the matter. He identified the ship as the LORI and said a missile or mine deployed by one of Iran’s fleet of small military boats was most likely responsible.

Earlier this month, Iran said Israel was likely behind an explosion that damaged an Iranian container ship in the Mediterranean, and Israel’s environmental minister alleged that an Iranian ship deliberately dumped oil in Israeli waters. An Israeli maritime intelligence company, Windward, later said the crude spill likely originated from sanctions-busting oil trade between Iran and Syria.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in February said Iran was responsible for an unexplained blast on an Israeli-owned cargo vessel in the Persian Gulf. Israel’s Haaretz daily reported last week that Israel has hit several dozen Iranian oil tankers in recent weeks, causing Iran cumulative damage of billions of dollars.

“This isn’t the start of a naval campaign, rather we’re in the midst of one,” Solomon said.

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