Page 11 - MEOG Week 08 2023
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MEOG                                     POLICY & SECURITY                                            MEOG

       Israel blames Iran for drone attack

       on product tanker in Arabian Sea

        ISRAEL / IRAN    ISRAELI Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu  allegedly trade attacks on respective targets on
                         has accused Iran of using an aerial drone to  a regular basis. The attack on the Campo Square
                         attack an Israeli tanker on February 10. Iran has  follows several attacks on Israeli-linked vessels in
                         denied any involvement in the incident.  recent years. Iran has accused Israel of attacks on
                           In a cabinet meeting held in Jerusalem on  Iranian military sites in Syria and in Iran itself.
                         February 15, Netanhayu told ministers that  Earlier this year an Iranian weapons factory
                         “Iran again attacked an oil tanker in the Persian  near Isfahan was attacked by drones and Teh-
                         Gulf and harmed the international freedom of  ran accused Israel of being responsible for that
                         navigation.”                         as well as a recent attack on a security complex
                           The Liberian-flagged Campo Square, linked  in Damacus where Iranian personnel are active.
                         to Israeli shipowner Eyal Offer, was 550 km off   Israel strikes Iranian targets in Syria on a reg-
                         the coast of Oman in the Arabian Sea at the time  ular basis and has warned that Iran is working to
                         of the attack.                       develop a nuclear weapons capability. Efforts to
                           Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nas-  restart talks on bringing a halt to Iran’s nuclear
                         ser Kanaani said on February 20 that Tehran  programme have stalled since the previous
                         “strongly rejects” Netanyahu’s allegation. “The  agreement was abandoned by the US adminis-
                         Zionist regime has gotten used to levelling alle-  tration of Donald Trump in 2018.
                         gations against the Islamic Republic of Iran, like   Iran is known to be exporting drones on
                         its main ally, the United States government,”  an ever-larger scale, and a recent report in
                         Kanaani said.                        Al-Monitor said Tehran’s Intelligence Ministry
                           The Greek ship management company Elet-  is planning to sell 15,000 drones to China. Iran
                         son, which manages the Campo Square, said it  is already known to be supplying drones to Rus-
                         believed the attack was carried out with a drone,  sia, which is using them against civilian targets
                         but the vessel sustained minor damage and the  in its war in Ukraine. The Iranian-backed Hou-
                         crew was uninjured. The Campo Square’s latest  this in Yemen have also received aerial weapons
                         position was reported in the Red Sea. The vessel  from Iran which are used in the country’s civil
                         is linked to Zodiac Maritime, which is owned by  war against the Saudi Arabian-backed Sunni
                         Eyal. Several vessels linked to Israel have been  government.
                         attacked by drones in recent weeks and among   Iran is known to supply Lebanon’s Shia
                         the attacks was the Pacific Zircon, which was tar-  Muslim political organisation Hezbollah and
                         geted by a drone in November 2022. That ship is  the Palestinian organisation Islamic Jihad with
                         owned by Idan Ofer, Eyal’s brother.  weapons. And earlier this year the US Naval
                           The attack on the tanker is viewed as another  Institute reported on its website that Iran is con-
                         incident in the long-running undeclared war  verting a merchant vessel to an aircraft carrier for
                         between the two countries, both of which  drones and helicopters.™

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