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Satellite photo shows Iranian ship hasn’t moved since alleged Israeli hit

Image shows the MV Saviz, alleged control center for Revolutionary Guard forces, has remained stationary since it was apparently damaged in a blast, which Tehran blames on Israel

Iranian ship the Saviz in the Red Sea on April 11, 2021. (ImageSat International)
Iranian ship the Saviz in the Red Sea on April 11, 2021. (ImageSat International)

A private Israeli intelligence firm released a satellite photograph on Sunday of an Iranian ship said to have been hit by Israel last week, showing that the vessel has not moved since the alleged attack and remains anchored in the Red Sea, between Yemen and Eritrea.

The picture released by ImageSat International appeared to show the MV Saviz, the Iranian cargo ship said to serve as a floating base for Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard forces off the coast of Yemen that was struck by an explosion last Tuesday, likely from a limpet mine.

Iran has blamed Israel for the blast, and an American official told the New York Times that Israel called the strike a retaliation for several attacks on Israeli-owned shipping vessels in recent weeks.

The US official said the ship had been hit below the waterline.

A suspicious boat off the stern of the Iranian ship ‘Saviz’ in the Red Sea in 2018. (Al Arabiya video screenshot/ File)

Tehran and Jerusalem are engaged in a maritime shadow war, with both sides blaming the other for explosions on vessels.

In recent months, at least two Israeli-owned cargo ships have been damaged in alleged Iranian attacks, one in the Gulf of Oman and the other as it was sailing to India.

A spokesman for the Islamic Republic’s military said Thursday that Iran will “definitely” respond to the attack. Brig. Gen. Abolfazl Shekarchi said Tehran would wait to respond until the completion of an investigation into the incident.

The picture was released as tensions rose between Israel and Iran amid a possible US return to the nuclear deal, with a major power cut at the Natanz nuclear facility on Sunday which Tehran described as an act of “nuclear terrorism.”

The cut apparently caused significant damage to the centrifuges and set back Iran’s uranium enrichment ability by at least nine months, Israeli and US media quoted unnamed intelligence sources as saying.

Senior Israeli officials Israel hinted at, but did not confirm, involvement in the apparent cyberattack, although the New York Times cited American and Israeli intelligence officials confirming there had been an Israeli role.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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