Iran’s government is suspected of being responsible for a missile attack on Israeli-owned container ship “Lori” traveling from India to Tanzania, according to Israel’s Channel 12 News Thursday, in a display of escalating maritime tensions between the two countries.
The cargo ship was attacked while in the Arabian Sea between India and Oman and is reportedly owned by the Haifa-based Israeli shipping company XT Management.
It is currently undetermined how much damage was inflicted, but there are no known casualties, and the vessel was able to continue to India where damages will be assessed.
Iran’s regime has not confirmed its suspected connection to the incident, and Israeli government officials have not yet released a public statement.
Last month, Iran was accused of a similar attack against another Israeli-owned cargo ship near the Gulf of Oman; although, Tehran denied the allegation.
“We strongly reject this accusation,” said Tehran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh in response to last month’s allegations.
Many believe the most recent incident may have been a retaliatory response to alleged Israeli attacks on dozens of Iranian vessels throughout the last two years.
The Iranian vessels in question were transporting oil and weaponry to Syria, according to U.S. officials, an act that directly violates U.S. and international sanctions and would have likely resulted in the funneling of large sums of money to terrorist proxies in Syria.
As accusations related to maritime incidents continue to mount between Iran and Israel, the Biden administration has yet to decide whether it will defend Israel by maintaining sanctions on Iran or lift all sanctions in an act of appeasement that will grant the U.S. reentry into a deal similar to the 2015 JCPOA on Iran’s terms.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has been explicit in his demand that the U.S. come into compliance with the JCPOA before the regime will make any moves to reverse its long list of breaches, claiming that Iran has been the only “responsible” party involved.
“Reality check: The JCPOA is alive SOLELY because of Iran’s responsible conduct,” tweeted Zarif last week.