Calming the waters: Israel seeks to reduce tension after Iran attacks ship

According to reports, Jerusalem is not interested in retaliation for this latest maritime attack.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Just two days after an explosion at the Natanz nuclear facility, widely believed to have been carried out by Israel, crippled Iran’s nuclear program, the Islamic Republic reportedly attacked an Israeli ship off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.

On Tuesday, the MV Hyperion Ray, an Israeli-owned ship which sails under a Bahamian flag, came under missile fire near Fujairah, close to the Gulf of Oman.

A source told the New York Times that the ship successfully evaded the attack and was not damaged. However, Hebrew language media reported that the Hyperion Ray was lightly damaged.

The attack marked the third of its kind in recent months, as other Israeli owned ships were hit by Iranian forces or agents while sailing near India and in the Gulf of Oman.

But according to a Times report, Jerusalem is not interested in retaliation for this latest maritime attack.

A senior Israeli security official told the Times that Israel was “seeking to reduce tensions in the Persian Gulf region” and that it had “no intention of responding with another attack on an Iranian vessel.”

An American official revealed that Israel had asked for the U.S.’s help in protecting the Hyperion Ray in recent days.

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The explosion on Sunday at Natanz, which Iranian officials called an “act of nuclear terrorism” as well as “beautifully” planned and executed, was an unusually public clash in an ongoing covert war between Israel and Iran.

While the countries have not officially taken credit for attacks on each other, a number of maritime and cyber attacks between the two nations have taken place over the last decade.

As the explosion at Natanz reportedly set back the nuclear program by nine months, Iranian officials have declared they will ramp up uranium enrichment to a 60% level.

This is significantly higher than the purity level permitted within the 2015 nuclear deal, and close to the level needed to create a nuclear weapon.

Thus far, the Iranian government has claimed their nuclear program is peaceful and aimed at creating a clean energy source for the nation of some 83 million. However, uranium for nuclear reactors need only be enriched to about 4%.