‘It was indeed an Iranian action’: Netanyahu points blame for ship strike on Israel’s main nemesis

“It is Israel’s biggest enemy and we are beating it in the whole region,” Netanyahu said.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

“It was indeed an Iranian action, that’s clear,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in an interview with Kan Reshet Bet on Monday, weighing in on the mystery attack on an Israeli cargo ship in the Gulf of Oman on Feb. 25.

“It is Israel’s biggest enemy and we are beating it in the whole region. The Iranians will not have nuclear weapons – with or without an agreement. I also said this to my friend Biden,” Netanyahu said.

Iran continues to deny responsibility for the attack on the Israeli shipping vessel, MV Helios Ray, which was leaving the Persian Gulf on its way to Singapore when it was hit by a missile or struck a mine.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said, “Netanyahu’s accusations are inaccurate. The security of the Persian Gulf is important to Tehran.”

Israel was quick to point the finger at Iran even before the prime minister’s comments. Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Saturday that Iran is most likely responsible for the attack. “The location of the ship in relatively close proximity to Iran raises the notion, the assessment, that we’re talking about the Iranians,” he said.

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Israeli defense officials reportedly support a response to the attack. It’s not known if Sunday night’s reported missile strike south of Damascus was part of a reprisal. Israel hasn’t commented on the attack, which was reported by Syria’s official news agency SANA.

However, when Iran was blamed for attempting to hack Israel’s water supply in April 2020, the response hit closer to home with Israel assumed to be behind a May 9, 2020 hack of the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas on the Strait of Hormuz, which caused days of transport chaos.