Iran Shipping

Iranian ship linked to IRGC attacked in Red Sea

  • Iranian media says limpet mines used to attack Saviz
  • Al Arabiya reports ship was attacked off the coast of Eritrea causing several casualties

An Iranian ship linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has been attacked in the Red Sea.

The Saviz was hit by limpet mines, Iran’s Tasnim news agency reported on Tuesday.

The attack took place off the coast of Eritrea and led to several injuries, according to Al Arabiya TV.

Israel informed the United States it attacked the Iranian ship Saviz in the Red Sea on Tuesday in retaliation for earlier Iranian strikes on Israeli vessels, the New York Times reported citing an American official.

Iranian cargo ship ‘Iran Saviz’ was attacked in the Red Sea by limpet mines attached to the hull, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported.

“The vessel Iran Saviz has been stationed in the Red Sea for the past few years to support Iranian commandos sent on commercial vessel (anti-piracy) escort missions,” Tasnim said.

The attack is the latest in a series of attacks on Israeli- and Iranian-owned cargo ships since late February in which the two arch-foes held the other responsible. It also happened on the day the US and Iran launched indirect talks in Vienna through European powers to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, a deal Israel is strongly opposed to.

The New York Times report said Israel informed the US that it struck Saviz at about 7:30 a.m. local time.

“The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to share private intelligence communications, said that the Israelis had called the attack a retaliation for earlier Iranian strikes on Israeli vessels, and that the Saviz had been damaged below the water line,” the report added.

‘Saviz’ is officially listed as a general cargo vessel. However, the Combating Terrorism Center at the United States Military Academy (USMA) described the ‘Saviz’ in a report as the “Iranian mother ship on station located in Eritrea’s contiguous waters.”

It said: “The ship has signals intelligence domes and antennae. It is visited by all Iranian ships moving through the Red Sea, nominally to coordinate anti-piracy measures. At least three speedboats are based on deck, which are used to ferry personnel to Yemen.”

A US official told Reuters that the United States did not carry out the attack.

The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Israel has targeted at least 12 Iranian ships heading for Syria since late 2019.

The vessels have mostly been carrying oil in breach of US sanctions. However, the report said cargo and military ships have also been hit with weapons, that include water mines.

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