TEHRAN: An Iranian freighter was hit by an “explosion” in the Red Sea, Tehran said Wednesday, after US media reported Israel had struck the ship in retaliation for past Iranian strikes on its vessels. Iran was at pains to stress that the freighter was a civilian ship, although other sources said it had been used by Iranian commandos as a base for shipping protection and other duties in the area.
The explosion comes at a sensitive time as US President Joe Biden attempts to revive a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran which was strongly opposed by Israel and abandoned by his predecessor Donald Trump in 2018.
The blast struck the “Iranian commercial vessel” MV Saviz off the coast of Djibouti on Tuesday morning, foreign ministry spokesman Said Khatibzadeh said, adding an inquiry had been opened into the cause.
“The accident caused no casualties and a technical investigation is under way to determine its circumstances and origin,” the spokesman said.