Iran Blames Israel for Mediterranean Attack on Ship, Leaves 'All Options' on the Table

'Israeli officials are aware how Iran defends itself,' Foreign Ministry spokesperson says

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Iranian-flagged container ship Shahr e Kord, which Iran accused Israel of attacking this week, pictured here in Istanbul in 2019.
Iranian-flagged container ship Shahr e Kord, which Iran accused Israel of attacking this week, pictured here in Istanbul in 2019.Credit: Yoruk Isik

Israel is likely responsible for the recent attack on an Iranian cargo ship in the Mediterranean Sea and that Iran would consider "all options" in response, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Monday, according to reports in local media.

In anticipation of a detailed opinion from the Iranian Armed Forces, Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said at a press conference that the location of the attack on the Shahre Kord vessel suggests Israel is culpable, according to the Iranian Tasnim News Agency.

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“That regime [Israel] finds its survival in war, crisis and chaos. Iran would consider all options when it finds out who has been involved in this operation, and will resort to them to protect its legitimate rights,” the spokesman said.

“The Israeli officials are aware how Iran defends itself,” Khatibzadeh added.

The press conference also covered the planned railroad linking Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in a bid to sideline the Strait of Hormuz. The spokesperson replied that Iran is closely monitoring developments and will take measures if necessary.

The Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line (IRIS) Group stated that their container ship was hit as it was traveling to Europe on March 10.

The ship, Shahre Kord, was slightly damaged by an explosive object which caused a small fire, but no one on board was hurt, the spokesman for IRIS, Ali Ghiasian, said.

"Such terrorist acts amount to naval piracy, and are contrary to international law on commercial shipping security, and legal action will be taken to identify the perpetrators through relevant international institutions," Ghiasi said.

The incident came on the same day as a report by the Wall Street Journal that Israel has struck at least 12 Iranian ships carrying oil to Syria in the last two years, out of fear it would fund regional extremism.

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