Netanyahu accuses Iran of attack on Israeli-linked tanker

AFP , Sunday 19 Feb 2023

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday accused arch-foe Iran of attacking an Israeli-linked tanker earlier this month, a strike which the ship's operator said caused "minor" damage.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu heads the weekly cabinet meeting in his office in Jerusalem, on February 19, 2023. AFP


"On the Iranian front, our efforts are unceasing for the simple reason that Iran's acts of aggression are unceasing," Netanyahu said at the start of his weekly cabinet meeting.

"Last week, Iran again attacked an oil tanker in the Arabian Gulf (region) and struck at the international freedom of navigation," he said.

Campo Square, a Liberian-flagged product tanker, was on February 10 "hit by an airborne object while in the Arabian Sea, approximately 300 nautical miles (555 kilometres) off the coasts of India and Oman," according to Eletson, the Greek company that manages the vessel.

"Both the vessel and crew are safe and proceeding as per planned passage. There is minor damage to the vessel," Eletson said in a statement Saturday.

A spokesman for Eletson told AFP that the Liberian company which owns Campos Square was "linked" to Zodiac Maritime, the British shipping company founded and chaired by an Israeli, Eyal Ofer.

Iran has not commented on the attack.

Iran has been engaged in a shadow war with Israel for years, with Tehran accusing Israel of being behind a series of sabotage attacks and assassinations targeting its nuclear programme, carried out alongside the United States.

Tehran has accused Israel of being behind a January drone attack on a defence ministry site in Iran's central Isfahan province.

In November, Israel and the United States blamed Iran for a drone strike on a tanker off the coast of Oman. The vessel was operated by a company owned by Idan Ofer, Eyal's brother.

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

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