Tehran
TehranReuters

Iran's foreign ministry on Monday rejected Washington's claims that a drone attack targeting a tanker off the coast of India over the weekend was "fired from Iran", AFP reports.

The Pentagon said on Saturday that the Japanese-owned Chem Pluto chemical tanker was targeted "by a one-way attack drone fired from Iran."

"We declare these claims as completely rejected and worthless," foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani said on Monday when asked about the US accusations.

"Such claims are aimed at projecting, distracting public attention, and covering up for the full support of the American government for the crimes of the Zionist regime (Israel) in Gaza," he added.

The tanker arrived on Monday off Mumbai where it was inspected by an Indian Navy explosive ordnance disposal team, PTI news agency reported.

The Navy said an initial review of the ship's damage pointed to a drone strike, according to PTI, but that further analysis would be necessary to determine the "vector of attack".

The vessel was described as having Israel links, due to the fact that it was leased by a Dutch company from a European company that is partially and indirectly owned by an Israeli businessman.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the strike, which came amid a flurry of drone and missile attacks by Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels in the Red Sea.

It has long been believed that Iran is planning to use the Houthis to take over Yemen and seize the key strategic port of Aden, which controls the entrance to the Red Sea and ultimately to Eilat.

Iran denies it is backing the Houthis and has also denied accusations that it provided the Houthi rebels with ballistic capabilities.