Iranian ship damaged in Mediterranean, Tehran alleges 'terror' attack

WION Web Team
Tehran, Iran Published: Mar 13, 2021, 11:38 AM(IST)

Shahr-e-Kord ship Photograph:( Reuters )

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The ship, Shahr e Kord, was slightly damaged in Wednesday's incident by an explosive object which caused a small fire, but no one on board was hurt, the spokesman, Ali Ghiasian, said on Friday.

A state-run shipping company in Iran has said it would take legal action to identify the perpetrators of an attack on a container ship in the Mediterranean -- what it called 'terrorism and naval piracy'.

The ship, Shahr e Kord, was slightly damaged in Wednesday's incident by an explosive object which caused a small fire, but no one on board was hurt, the spokesman, Ali Ghiasian, said on Friday.

The vessel was headed to Europe when the attack occurred and will leave for its destination after repairs.

"Such terrorist acts amount to naval piracy, and are contrary to international law on commercial shipping security, and legal action will be taken to identify the perpetrators through relevant international institutions," Ghiasian said.

The Iranian-flagged vessel last reported its position off Syria’s coast on March 10 as it headed for the Syrian port of Latakia, Refinitiv ship tracking data showed.

Two maritime security sources said initial indications were that the Iranian container ship had been intentionally targetted by an unknown source.

The incident comes two weeks after an Israeli-owned ship the MV HELIOS RAY was hit by an explosion in the Gulf of Oman.

A US defence official said the blast left holes in both sides of the vessel's hull. Israel accused Iran of being behind the explosion, a charge the Islamic Republic denied.

The vessel, which is among Iranian ships that have been designated by the US under tough sanctions measures, was briefly detained in Libya in 2019.

Israeli officials declined comment on the report. The Israeli navy, whose largest vessels are missile corvettes and five diesel-fueled submarines, is mostly active in the Mediterranean and Red seas.

Israel has separately said it is waging a covert “campaign between wars” to deny Iranian allies on its borders arms and other support from Tehran.

(with inputs)

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