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China Daily Global / 2021-04 / 08 / Page007

Teheran confirms its cargo ship attacked in Red Sea

China Daily Global | Updated: 2021-04-08 00:00

An Iranian cargo ship which had been anchored for years in the Red Sea off Yemen was attacked on Tuesday, the Iranian Foreign Ministry confirmed on Wednesday.

The statement marked the first Iranian comment on the mysterious incident involving the MV Saviz, suspected to have been carried out by Israel. The attack came as Iran and world powers sat down in Vienna for the first talks about the US potentially rejoining a 2015 nuclear deal, showing that challenges ahead do not rest merely on those negotiations.

Iran had described the Saviz as aiding in "anti-piracy" efforts in the Red Sea and the Bab el-Mandeb strait, a crucial choke point in international shipping.

A report by The New York Times quoted an anonymous US official as saying Israel informed the United States that it carried out an attack on Tuesday morning on the vessel. Israeli officials declined to comment about the incident, as did the Saviz's owner.

However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday brought up Iran in a speech to his Likud party after being asked to form a government following the country's recent election.

"We must not go back to the dangerous nuclear deal with Iran, because a nuclear Iran is an existential threat to the state of Israel and a great threat to the security of the entire world," Netanyahu said.

Iran's semiofficial Tasnim news agency reported the attack late on Tuesday, saying explosives planted on the hull of the Saviz exploded. It did not blame anyone for the attack.

In a statement, the US military's Central Command only said: "We can confirm that no US forces were involved in the incident," the command said. "We have no additional information to provide."

Agencies Via Xinhua

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