Iran on Monday rejected accusations by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the Islamic Republic was behind an attack on an Israeli-linked oil tanker in the Arabian Sea.
“We strongly reject the Zionist regime’s accusation against Iran regarding the attack on the Israeli tanker,” said Nasser Kanaani, a spokesperson for Tehran’s foreign ministry, during a weekly news conference, according to Reuters.
“We are very active in maintaining security and freedom of navigation in international waters and will continue to do so,” he added.
Netanyahu on Sunday accused Iran of being behind the strike.
“On the Iranian front, our efforts are unceasing for the simple reason that Iran’s acts of aggression are unceasing,” Netanyahu said at the start of his weekly cabinet meeting.
“Last week, Iran again attacked an oil tanker in the Persian Gulf [region] and struck at the international freedom of navigation,” he said.
The February 10 attack targeted Campo Square, a Liberian-flagged product tanker, causing minor damage and no injuries. Shipping databases linked the tanker to Zodiac Maritime, which is controlled by Israeli shipping magnate Eyal Ofer.
This is not the first instance where Israeli tankers have been targeted en route to the far east. In November, “The Pacific Zircon,” another Israeli tanker flying a Liberian flag, was hit by a projectile about 150 miles off Oman’s coast. No casualties or cargo leakage was reported.
A year earlier, in July 2021, two crew members, British and Romanian nationals, were killed when the Liberian-flagged Mercer Street, another tanker linked to Ofer, was attacked by drones off the coast of Oman.
The company then described the attack as a “suspected piracy incident.”