Israel reveals identity of Iranian behind drone attack, calls for united front against Iran

Saeed Ara Jani, head of Iran’s IRCG UAV Command, is the person responsible for last week’s attack that left two crew members dead.

By Tobias Siegal, World Israel News

Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid held on Wednesday a security briefing with ambassadors from UNSC member-states and exposed the identity of the person behind the attack of the Israeli-managed oil tanker off the coast of the United Arab Emirates in the Gulf of Oman.

Saeed Ara Jani, head of Iran’s IRCG UAV Command, is the person responsible for last week’s attack that left two crew members dead, both of whom were non-Israeli citizens.

“The direct culprit responsible for launching explosive drones is Saeed Ara Jani, whose name I’m revealing here today for the first time,” Gantz told the ambassadors.

“Ara Jani is the primary operator of the UAV array of IRCG’s air force, which targeted the Mercer Street. He is the one who provides the equipment, training, the operative plans and is responsible for numerous terrorist attacks in the region,” Gantz added.

Gantz and Lapid made it clear during the briefing that Israel would maintain freedom to act when faced with any attack that threatens its sovereignty or the safety of its citizens.

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Moreover, the Israeli officials emphasized that this attack was not a regional attack and was not directed toward Israel per se, but was rather an attack on the West, “and the world needs to respond,” they stressed.

“This will only be possible if the international community adopts a unified and brave policy – through the UNSC and other institutions – that will demand that Iran take responsibility for its aggressive actions,” a joint statement released by Gantz and Lapid read.

Wednesday’s briefing marks a shift in policy carried out by Israel since the attack, aimed at convincing the international community to set clear boundaries for Iran and prevent another incident.

“Iran has proven again that it poses an international and regional threat … Iran is responsible for dozens of terrorist actions throughout the Middle East, while operating militias in Yemen, Iraq and other countries,” Gantz told ambassadors, adding that “Iran has also crossed all of the red lines defined in the previous nuclear deal” and noting that it is getting closer to developing a nuclear bomb.

“That’s why it’s time to take action – the world must impose economic sanctions on Iran and to initiate operative plans against the regime. We have no quarrel with the Iranian people,” Gantz stressed, “but with the regime that is creating a dangerous arms race in the Middle East.”

Lapid posed the question of international law to the group of ambassadors, asking them: “Does the international law still exist? Does the world have the capability to enforce it? If the answer is yes, the entire world should be taking action. If it doesn’t, then the international community doesn’t really exist and it’s every state for itself.”

The U.S., UK and Israel have all blamed Iran for the drone attack. Israel hopes that this would lead other countries to strengthen their rhetoric directed at Tehran.

On Tuesday evening, the British Navy warned of a “potential hijack” of a ship off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, without elaborating. Other oil tankers in the area reported loss of control of steering shortly before the incident, raising fear of a large-scale attack. The incident ended on Wednesday, when the hijackers of the ship left the targeted vessel. No further information has been provided about the incident as of Wednesday afternoon.