Tehran, Iran – Iran has rejected a claim by its regional arch foe Israel that it was behind an attack on an oil tanker earlier this month.
Tehran “strongly rejects” the allegation, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani told reporters during a press conference on Monday.
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“The Zionist regime has gotten used to levelling allegations against the Islamic Republic of Iran, like its main ally, the United States government,” he said regarding Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had on Sunday blamed Iran for the attack on the Israeli-linked Campo Square oil tanker on February 10, promising that Israel will continue its efforts to counter Tehran.
Kanaani, the foreign ministry spokesman, also said Israel has compromised other states’ security throughout its “shameful history” and therefore, is in no position to accuse others of offences that jeopardise regional security.
The Liberian-flagged tanker was suspected of being attacked by a drone, and Eletson, the Greek company that manages the vessel said it was “hit by an air-borne object while in the Arabian Sea”.
The company said the vessel and crew are safe and only the vessel sustained minor damage. The company is thought to be linked with a British shipping company founded and chaired by an Israeli, Eyal Ofer.
Iran and Israel have been engaged in a shadow war for years that has increasingly spilled out into the open amid rising tensions and a deadlock over talks to restore Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
Israel on Sunday launched air attacks on Syria’s capital which killed five people and wounded 15 others. The raids hit a building in central Damascus’s Kafr Sousa neighbourhood near a large, heavily guarded security complex close to Iranian installations, witnesses said.
Tehran had previously accused Israel of being behind a January drone attack on a defence ministry site in Iran’s central Isfahan province.
Israel and the US have accused Iran of being behind several attacks on oil tankers in the past two years.