IRISL ship suffers bombing, small fire, Israelis deny involvement
THE Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines' 2,168-TEU Shahr-e Kord was hit by a bomb on its hull, according to IRISL spokesman Ali Ghiasian, reports Radio Free Europe
24 March 2021 - 19:00
Mr Ghiasian said the ship was en route from Iran to Europe when its hull was hit with an 'explosive device' on March 10, setting off a small fire that was quickly extinguished, and the vessel continued on its voyage.
Reuters quoted two maritime security sources as saying that initial indications were that the container ship had been intentionally targeted by an unknown source.
The incident comes less than two weeks after Israel accused arch enemy Iran of being behind an attack on an Israeli-owned cargo ship in the Gulf of Oman on February 25 - a charge denied by Tehran.
In a March 12 report quoting US and regional officials, The Wall Street Journal said Israel had targeted at least a dozen vessels bound for Syria that were mostly carrying Iranian oil since late 2019.
It said Israel had used weapons including 'water mines' to target the ships. Israeli officials have not commented on the report, but Defence Minister Benny Gantz said that the country 'will continue to fight against terrorism and everything that helps terrorism, including its sources of revenue.'
IRISL was blacklisted by the United States last year over what the State Department described as the transportation of items related to Iran's missile and nuclear programmes.
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