JERUSALEM, Feb 19 (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said that Iran was responsible for a reported attack on an oil tanker last week.
An attack on the Liberian-flagged Campo Square was confirmed on Saturday by the ship’s captain, who said it was lightly damaged by an airborne object on Feb. 10 while sailing through the Arabian Sea.
Shipping databases linked the tanker to Zodiac Maritime, which is controlled by Israeli shipping magnate Eyal Ofer.
“Last week Iran again attacked an oil tanker in the Persian Gulf and harmed the international freedom of navigation,” Netanyahu said at a weekly cabinet meeting.
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Regional defence and security sources have said they suspected the assault was carried out by Iran, which did not comment on the incident.
Tehran has rejected accusations it was behind similar attacks in the past few years.
British maritime security company Ambrey Intelligence said unmanned aerial systems had attacked two tankers and one bulk carrier in the Arabian Sea and assessed that Tehran had mounted the attack. Two of the merchant vessels were Israeli-owned and one was Emirati, it said.
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(Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch.Editing by James Mackenzie and David Goodman)