Netanyahu claims Iran behind blast on Israeli-owned ship

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Iran ‘strongly rejects’ allegations by the Israeli PM for final week’s mysterious explosion on MV Helios Ray in Gulf of Oman.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accused Iran of being behind final week’s blast on an Israeli-owned ship within the Gulf of Oman days after Israeli officers, together with the defence minister, pointed fingers of blame at Tehran.

Netanyahu made the accusation in an interview that aired Monday with Israeli public broadcaster Kan – however supplied no proof for his declare.

The MV Helios Ray, a vehicle-carrier ship, was hit in a single day on Friday by a blast above the waterline {that a} US official stated ripped holes in either side of its hull. The vessel docked at Dubai’s port for repairs on Sunday. It stays unclear what brought about the blast.

Defence Minister Benny Gantz stated on Saturday that an preliminary evaluation discovered Iran was chargeable for the explosion, whereas the Israeli ambassador to the US and United Nations appeared responsible Tehran for the blast, which has revived safety issues within the area.

Israeli defence officers have flown to Dubai to analyze the incident, Haaretz newspaper reported.

The hawkish Israeli prime minister, who’s looking for re-election within the nation’s fourth election inside two years, sidestepped a query on whether or not Israel will retaliate.

When requested if Israel would retaliate, Netanyahu, a strident critic of Tehran’s nuclear programme, repeated earlier statements about his willpower to forestall Iran from growing nuclear weapons.

“Iran is the greatest enemy of Israel, I am determined to halt it. We are hitting it in the entire region,” the Israeli prime minister stated.

Kan stated the interview was recorded on Sunday evening, earlier than Syria accused Israel of finishing up missile assaults round southern Damascus.

Israeli media studies stated the alleged air raids had been on Iranian targets in response to the ship assault.

The Israeli navy declined to remark.

Israel has struck lots of of Iranian targets in Syria in recent times, and Netanyahu has repeatedly stated Israel won’t settle for a everlasting Iranian navy presence in its neighbour.

Iran rejects allegation

Iran’s overseas ministry “strongly rejected” Netanyahu’s declare and stated his current remarks stem from his “obsessive” behaviour in the direction of the nation.

“The source of these allegations itself lacks credibility the most,” stated Saeed Khatibzadeh, the overseas ministry’s spokesman, stated in a press convention in Tehran on Monday.

He stated Iran considers current Israeli actions within the area “suspicious” and reserves the fitting to reply decisively.

Khatibzadeh additionally reiterated Iran’s stance that it by no means has and by no means will search nuclear weapons.

Previous incidents

Earlier Iran’s hardline Kayhan day by day alleged the Helios Ray was “possibly” on an “espionage” mission within the area, with out providing any proof to assist the declare.

Iran has additionally blamed Israel for a current collection of assaults, together with a mysterious explosion final summer season that destroyed a sophisticated centrifuge meeting plant at its Natanz nuclear facility and the killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a prime Iranian scientist who based the nation’s navy nuclear programme 20 years in the past.

Tehran has repeatedly promised to avenge Fakhrizadeh’s killing.

Iranian threats of retaliation have raised alarms in Israel following the nation’s normalisation offers with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.