Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Iran on Monday for an explosion aboard an Israeli-owned ship in the Gulf of Oman last week, an accusation rejected by Tehran.
|Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
The vehicle-carrier MV Helios Ray was hit between Thursday night and Friday morning by a blast above the water line that a U.S official said ripped holes in both sides of its hull. An Israeli official said limpet mines were used.
“This was indeed an operation by Iran. That is clear,” Netanyahu told Kan radio.
Asked if Israel would retaliate, he said: “You know my policy. Iran is Israel’s biggest enemy. I am determined to fend it off. We are striking at it all over the region.”
Iran denied involvement. “We strongly reject this accusation,” Saeed Khatibzadeh, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry in Tehran, told a news conference. “The security of the Persian Gulf is extremely important for Iran.”
Kan said the Netanyahu interview was pre-recorded on Sunday night, before Syria accused Israel of carrying out missile strikes around southern Damascus.
Israel did not confirm carrying out those strikes, but has previously said it was launching frequent military actions against Iranian deployment or arms handovers within Syria.