The Israeli government accused Iran, a country with which it fights maritime disputes, of attacking an oil vessel off the coast of Oman on Thursday (29). Two crew members, a British citizen and a Romanian citizen, died in the attack.
“Iran is not only Israel’s problem, but it is an exporter of terrorism, destruction and instability which is hurting us all,” Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said in a statement. “The world cannot remain silent in the face of Iranian terrorism, which also undermines the freedom of maritime transport,” he added.
The ship, named Mercer Street, is owned by the Japanese but is managed by the Israeli company Zodiac Maritime, which has called the incident “suspected piracy”. US and European sources familiar with the matter corroborate the Israeli government’s version and say Tehran is the prime suspect. The attack, they suggest, was carried out by a drone.
The episode allegedly occurred at 3 p.m. (GMT), about 152 nautical miles (280 kilometers) off the coast of Oman, according to a maritime operations portal that works to combat piracy and is linked to the Navy. British.
At the time of the attack, the vessel was in the northern Indian Ocean and was sailing without cargo from Tanzania, on the African coast, to Fujaira, United Arab Emirates, the operator who managed the vessel informed.
The Arabian Sea is located between Iran and Oman, a region of great geopolitical importance and home to the Strait of Hormuz, through which about a fifth of the world’s oil production is transported.
For at least a decade, it has been common for ships passing through the region to experience piracy attacks, but these incidents have declined in recent years following the strengthening of naval patrols from several interested countries in the region.
The incident at this farm is another amid escalating conflicts between Iran and Israel, which since 2019 have mutually attacked freighters in the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. In March of this year, an Iranian container ship was attacked and caught fire. The country blamed the attack on Israel.
Analysts from Dryad Global, a British maritime security company, said the recent episode is considered the fifth attack on an Israel-linked ship and described it as “retaliation in the war between the two powers.” .