Israel tells U.S. it struck Iranian vessel, NYT reports
The attack have been delayed to allow some distance to be made between the American aircraft carrier Dwight Eisenhower, and the Iranian Saviz which was a covert military ship operated by the Revolutionary Guards
By Daniel Salami,Yoav Zitun
An unnamed American official tells the New York Times that Israel informed the United States that it had struck an Iranian vessel in the Red Sea off Eritrea’s cost on Tuesday.
The New York Times reported on Wednesday that “the Israelis had called the attack a retaliation for earlier Iranian strikes on Israeli vessels, and that the vessel had been damaged below the water line.”
The Iranian news agency Tanzim confirmed the vessel was attacked by mines attached to it. and identified it as the Saviz, claiming it was stationed in the Red Sea for the past few years to “support Iranian commandos sent on commercial vessel (anti-piracy) escort missions.”
But according to a report published in October by the U.S. Naval Institute, the Saviz was a covert military ship operated by the Revolutionary Guards.
The American official said that the attack may have been delayed “to allow the Dwight D. Eisenhower, an American aircraft carrier in the area, to put some distance between itself and the Saviz.” The Eisenhower was about 320 kilometers (200 miles) away when the Saviz was hit, the official said.
Israeli officials declined to comment on the attack.
The Israeli Navy has ramped up its maritime presence in the Red Sea, deploying missile cutters and submarines to the area.
Late last month, Channel 12 reported that Iran fired a missile at an Israeli-owned ship in the Arabian Sea.
The container ship, which was said to be on its way from Tanzania to India, was hit by a small projectile and sustained minimal damage, Channel 12 said. The ship was identified as the LORI, which is owned by Israeli businessman Udi Angel and is registered in Liberia.
The alleged Israeli attack came as the United States began indirect talks with Iran on a return to the 2015 nuclear deal. The Trump administration had withdrawn from the agreement 2018.
Diplomats of the EU, China, Russia and Iran at the start of talks on a U.S. return to the 2015 nuclear deal, at the Grand Hotel in Vienna
World powers met with Iranian officials in Vienna and described the talks as “constructive” and agreed to form working groups to discuss the sanctions Washington might lift and the nuclear curbs Tehran might observe as they try to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.” The talks will resume on Friday.