Israels Netanyahu blames Iran for attack on oil tanker

Israel’s Netanyahu blames Iran for attack on oil tanker

Oil tanker in Gulf was “hit by an object in mid-air” in Arabian Sea, owner says.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accused archenemy Iran of attacking an Israel-linked oil tanker earlier this month.

“On the Iranian front, our efforts are incessant for the simple reason that Iran’s aggression is incessant,” Netanyahu said Sunday at the start of his weekly cabinet meeting.

“Last week Iran attacked another oil tanker in the Gulf [region] and struck against international freedom of navigation,” he said.

Campo Square, a Liberian-flagged product tanker, was “hit by a flying object on February 10 while approximately 300 nautical miles away in the Arabian Sea [555 kilometres] off the coasts of India and Oman,” according to Eletson, the Greek company managing the ship.

“Both the ship and crew are safe and proceeding as planned. Minor damage has been done to the ship.”

A spokesman for Eletson said the Liberian company that owns Campos Square is “affiliated” with Zodiac Maritime, the British shipping company founded and run by an Israeli, Eyal Ofer.

Iran has not commented on the attack.

Striking Iranian targets

Iran has been in a shadow war with Israel for years, with Tehran accusing Israel of being behind a series of sabotage attacks and assassination attempts on its nuclear program.

Iran and the West also fell out over Tehran’s nuclear activities and its arms supplies – including long-range “suicide drones” – to Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Tehran has accused Israel of being behind a drone attack on a Defense Ministry compound in central Iran’s Isfahan province in January.

In November, Israel and the United States blamed Iran for a drone strike on a tanker off the coast of Oman.

The ship was operated by a company owned by Idan Ofer, Eyal’s brother.

A vessel operated by Zodiac Maritime was attacked by a drone off Oman in July 2021, killing two crew members in an attack blamed on Iran.

Israel has long said it is ready to strike Iranian targets if diplomacy fails to contain Tehran’s nuclear or missile programs, but does not comment on specific incidents.

Talks between Iran and world powers to revive a 2015 nuclear deal have stalled since September last year. As part of the pact Washington abandoned under then-US President Donald Trump in 2018, Tehran agreed to limit nuclear work in exchange for an easing of sanctions.