Iran will respond to the recent attack on its ship in the Red Sea once it uncovers the source of the attack, Iranian Armed Forces spokesman Maj. Gen. Abu Al-Fadel Shkarji told the Russian Sputnik news agency on Thursday.
"We need to ascertain the source of the incident. If we uncover the source of the attack on the ship, we will definitely respond, we will never be silent. In any case, the ship was targeted, and now different things may have happened to the ship. But we cannot take a decision on what we are going to do until after our investigations are concluded with utmost accuracy", the spokesman said.
Iran is considering its traditional adversaries, the United States and Israel, as well as their allies in the Middle East, to be linked to the incident, he added.
The Iranian cargo ship, named the Saviz, was attacked off the coast of Eritrea in the Red Sea earlier this week. The incident on the ship occurred due to the explosion of mines planted on the hull, the Iranian news agency Tasnim reported, citing sources.
While Israeli officials have not commented on the attack on the vessel, an American official told The New York Times that Israel had notified the United States that its forces had struck the Saviz.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the Israelis had called the attack a retaliation for earlier Iranian strikes on Israeli vessels.
Reports dating back to October 2020 suggest that the Saviz, registered as a merchant ship and a suspected covert Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) forward base, is stationed in a strategic position on the coast of Yemen.
Automated Information System transmissions and analysis of commercial satellite images show the ship has barely moved in the past three years. The ship lies adjacent to the Suez Canal and not far from the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, forming a natural choking point.