Iran vows to 'definitely' respond to attack on merchant ship in Red Sea
Iran Press TV
Friday, 09 April 2021 10:32 AM
The senior spokesman of the Iranian Armed Forces says the country will "definitely" respond to a recent attack on one of its merchant ships in the strategic Red Sea.
Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi made the remarks in an interview with Russia's Sputnik news agency on Thursday, saying that Iran's response to the attack on the Saviz ship will come once the source of the assault is uncovered.
"We need to ascertain the source of the incident. If we uncover the source of the attack on the ship, we will definitely respond, we will never be silent," Sputnik quoted Shekarchi as saying.
"The ship was targeted and now different things may have happened to the ship, but we cannot take a decision on what we are going to do until after our investigations are concluded with utmost accuracy," the senior spokesman added.
Shekarchi also said Iran suspected Israel and the US were linked to the attack, stressing that Washington is undoubtedly involved in any attempt to undermine and harm the Islamic Republic.
The Saviz ship was struck by a blast at around 6 a.m. local time (0300 GMT) on Tuesday near the coast of Djibouti, and sustained minor damage.
In a report published by The New York Times on Tuesday, an unnamed American official was quoted as saying that Israeli forces had carried out the attack on the Iranian ship. The official called the strike a retaliation and said the ship had been hit below the waterline.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry said Saviz is a non-military vessel, whose specifications and mission have been formally registered with the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
The ministry added that the ship acts as Iran's logistic station in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, protects naval routes and provides security for merchant vessels and tankers against pirates.
The Foreign Ministry also vowed to take all the necessary measures regarding the case through international bodies.
In a similar incident last month, an Iranian cargo ship was damaged after it was targeted by a terrorist attack en route to Europe in the Mediterranean Sea.
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