Amid increased naval tensions between Israel and Iran, Iranian state media claimed on Monday that an Israeli dolphin-class submarine had entered the Red Sea last Wednesday via the Suez Canal, accompanied by two battleships.
Nour News said that sources in Iran’s Supreme Council of National Security had confirmed the submarine’s passage into the Red Sea, but believed the move was “mostly just for show.”
The sources were quoted as saying that Israel had “failed to create a consensus against Iran” following the recent attack on an Israeli-linked ship off the coast of Oman but “continues to try to create tension” in the region.
Two crew members, a Briton and a Romanian, were killed in last month’s attack on the MT Mercer Street. The ship is operated by Zodiac Maritime, a London-based company belonging to Israeli tycoon Eyal Ofer.
Iran has denied responsibility for the blast, but analysts have described the operation as part of a shadow war between Iran and Israel.
In December last year, an Israeli submarine reportedly openly crossed the Suez Canal in a show of force directed at Iran. The move was approved by Egypt, according to Kan news, which cited Arab intelligence sources.
That submarine reportedly surfaced and faced the Persian Gulf, which lies on the other side of Saudi Arabia. The intelligence sources said the move was meant to “send a message” to Iran.
A week after that report, Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Hidai Zilberman told the Saudi Arabian Elaph news outlet that Israel was tracking Iranian movements around the region, and that Israeli submarines were quietly “sailing everywhere.”