Explosion Damages Iranian Cargo Ship, Tehran Blames Israel

As the talks on the new Nuclear Deal between the US and Iran continue, an Iranian cargo ship was damaged by an explosion in the Red Sea. Iran blames Israel for the attack as the tensions between the states continue to grow once more. Israel officially denies any responsibility for the attack, yet The New York Times claims that an anonymous source in Washington confirmed that Tel-Aviv admitted to the White House that in fact, it was them who conducted the attack. The operation was supposedly revenge for the attack on the Israeli-owned cargo ship MV Helios Ray.

MV Saviz is an Iranian cargo ship belonging to a state corporation – IRISL Group. It anchors in the international waters near the coast of Eritrea. According to several sources and due to its location, it is believed that Saviz is a spy-ship, capable of launching armed motorboats that are able to conduct attacks in international waters but are also able to reach the shores of Yemen and supply Shia militias with Iranian weapons.

The incident occurs as the US-Iran talks continue to seek an agreement on the return to the previous Nuclear Deal. The talks are being conducted via intermediaries and are not face to face. For the Biden administration, it is critical to restore the status quo that was torn down under President Trump. Iran, however, vows to increase its Uranium enriching to levels three times higher than previously. It is a result of a sabotage attack on the Natanz nuclear facility earlier this week.

The undeclared Israeli-Iranian war on the seas continues to flare at this critical moment for US diplomacy. The question remains to what extent was this a deliberate action to draw Iran into a continuous proxy war. Iran achieving the capability to produce nuclear weapons would be devastating news for the fragile stability between powers in the Middle East. We can expect more acts of aggression between the two states, especially in international waters that give a neutral ground to such clashes.

Cover photo: Al-Arabija