Prime Minister Naftali Bennett mentioned Sunday Israel had “proof” Iran was behind the lethal tanker assault off Oman regardless of its denials, and warned his nation may “ship a message” in retaliation.
Bennett’s assertion got here after Iran rejected Israel’s “baseless accusations” it was liable for the assault that killed two crewmen, and Tehran vowed to defend its pursuits after its arch-foe pushed for UN motion towards it.
“The intelligence proof for this exists and we count on the worldwide group will make it clear to the Iranian regime that they’ve made a critical mistake,” the Israeli premier mentioned on the weekly cupboard assembly in remarks conveyed by his workplace.
“In any case, we all know how one can ship a message to Iran in our personal method.”
The MT Mercer Road, managed by outstanding Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer, was struck Thursday off the Omani coast.
A British safety guard and a Romanian crew member have been killed in what the US navy and the vessel’s operator Zodiac Maritime mentioned seemed to be a drone strike.
Earlier Sunday, Iran denied involvement within the assault, with international ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh saying Israel “should cease such baseless accusations”, and noting “it isn’t their first time to direct such accusations at Iran”.
“Iran won’t hesitate for a second to defend its… pursuits and nationwide safety,” Khatibzadeh added in a televised press convention.
In Jerusalem, Bennett slammed Iran’s “cowardly” denial, saying he may “decide with absolute certainty that Iran carried out the assault towards the ship”.
“Iran’s aggressive conduct is harmful not solely to Israel, but additionally harms international pursuits, freedom of navigation and worldwide commerce,” he mentioned.
On Saturday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke to Israeli International Minister Yair Lapid and agreed to work with different allies “to research the info, present help, and think about the suitable subsequent steps”, a State Division assertion mentioned.
Maritime business analysts Dryad International mentioned the assault was the fifth towards a ship linked to Israel since February.
The oil merchandise tanker was travelling from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania to Fujairah within the United Arab Emirates with no cargo aboard when it was hit, Zodiac Maritime mentioned.
In latest months, there have been a number of reported assaults on Iranian ships that Tehran has linked to Israel.
In March, Iran’s international ministry mentioned it was “contemplating all choices” in response to an assault on a cargo ship within the Mediterranean it blamed on Israel.
And in April, Tehran mentioned its freighter Saviz was hit by an “explosion” within the Crimson Sea, after media stories mentioned Israel had struck the ship.
The New York Instances reported on the time that the Saviz had been focused in an Israeli “retaliatory” assault after “Iran’s earlier strikes on Israeli ships”.
It got here at a time of heightened tensions between the foes, with stories of a sequence of tit-for-tat strikes on transport since early March.
In a report revealed in March that cited US and Center East officers, the Wall Road Journal mentioned Israel has focused at the very least a dozen vessels certain for Syria, largely carrying Iranian oil, since late 2019.
“The occupier regime is aware of that such (accusations) won’t repair its issues. Whoever sows the wind reaps the whirlwind,” Khatibzadeh mentioned.
Iran has additionally accused Israel of being behind sabotage assaults towards its nuclear websites, and killing various its scientists.
The tanker strike comes as Tehran and world powers are engaged in talks in Vienna in an effort to return Washington to a 2015 nuclear deal and carry sanctions, and convey Iran again in compliance with nuclear commitments it waived in retaliation for sanctions.
The accord was strained when in 2018 former president Donald Trump withdrew the US unilaterally and reimposed sanctions.
https://www.ibtimes.com/israel-says-it-has-evidence-linking-iran-deadly-tanker-attack-3264060?utm_source=Public&utm_medium=Feed&utm_campaign=Distribution | Israel Says It Has Proof Linking Iran To Lethal Tanker Assault