Iran denies attacking Israeli-owned cargo ship near Gulf of Oman

Iran’s UN ambassador says Israel's allegations are "unfounded", claims it is "playing the victim".

Elad Benari ,


Iran on Tuesday rejected what it said are Israel’s “unfounded allegations” that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard attacked an Israeli-owned cargo ship near the Gulf of Oman last month, The Associated Press reports.

In a letter circulated Tuesday and quoted by AP, Iran’s UN ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi accused Israel of “playing the victim to distract attention away from all its destabilizing acts and malign practices across the region.”

He added that the incident “has all the characteristics of a complicated false flag operation by actors in order to pursue their malign policies and to advance their illegitimate objectives.”

Last week, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, called on the UN Security Council to take action following the incident.

"On 25 February 2021, an Israeli owned cargo vessel HELIOS RAY, en route from Saudi Arabia to Singapore, was attacked by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) in international waters near the Gulf of Oman. The IRGC attached an explosive device to the vessel that caused severe damage forcing the ship to return to the port of Dubai to ensure the safety of the crew,” Erdan wrote to the Security Council.

"This is not the first time Iran has threatened the safety of international shipping and conducting attacks on civilian vessels in recent times. In early January 2021, the IRGC seized a South Korean flagged tanker in the Gulf waters and detained its crew. In May 2019, four commercial vessels were attacked and severely damaged by the IRGC in the territorial waters of the United Arab Emirates, east of the port of Fujairah,” he added.

"Israel has repeatedly warned of Iran’s unceasing malign activities and has highlighted these violations in numerous calls to the international community and letters to the United Nations Security Council, providing concrete, verified and documented evidence of the Iranian regime’s reckless and illicit behavior in the Middle East and beyond.”

"This and previously reported attacks prove yet again that Iran will use any means to destabilize the region while continuing to fail to live up to its own obligations under international law. I urge the Security Council to condemn the Iranian violations of the United Nations Charter and hold the Iranian regime responsible for this attack and for destabilizing the region," Erdan concluded.