Israel on Wednesday accused Iran of a drone attack on an oil tanker off the coast of Oman, which an official described as “Iranian provocation in the Persian Gulf” linked to the Qatar World Cup.
A self-destructive drone attacked the tanker Zircon Pacific, an Israeli-affiliated tanker carrying oil and gas under the Liberian flag, around 10 p.m. Monday, but did not cause major damage, a US military official told CNN. This American official said: The drone disabled the ship and did not interrupt its journey.
An Israeli official said that the weapon was an Iranian self-destructive drone “Hassa Shahid 136”, which is the same drones used in Ukraine. Iran has sent self-destructing drones to Russia for use in the Ukraine war, showing how far Iran has developed its attack drone technology.
“We consider this a provocation by Iran in the Persian Gulf — it’s not an attack on Israel — it’s what they usually do in the Gulf, they try to destabilize and mostly influence the events of the World Cup. Named according to the sensitivity of the situation.
US Central Command later said in a statement: “Exploitation of the debris that hit the ship indicates that it was a one-way attack drone of the Shahid series.”
“This drone attack on a civilian vessel in this vital sea strait demonstrates once again the destabilizing nature of Iran’s malign activities in the region,” US Central Command commander General Michael “Eric” Korilla said in a statement.
According to Eastern Pacific Shipping Company, the ship’s operating company, there were no injuries.
We are in contact with the ship and there are no reports of damage or contamination. “All crew are safe and accounted for.” “There was minor damage to the ship’s hull but no spillage of cargo or water.”
Marine traffic showed the tanker’s last known position off the coast of Oman near Liwa on Monday.
U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Iran was likely behind the drone strike, saying in a statement that while “there is no justification for this attack,” it was “the latest pattern of such actions and broader destabilizing activities.”
“Having reviewed the available information, we are confident that Iran likely carried out this attack using a drone, a lethal capability that it increasingly uses directly and through its proxies throughout the Middle East, and in “Russia is being reproduced for use in Ukraine.”
He warned that the move would threaten shipping, international trade and “freedom of navigation through this vital waterway”.
CNN has contacted the Iranian government for comment.
This weapon and target is consistent with the pattern of attacks related to Iran in the past. On July 30, 2021, an armed drone attacked a cargo ship, the Mercer Street, off the coast of Oman, killing two people. That ship was linked to an Israeli billionaire.
Football teams and fans of 32 countries, including Iran, will gather in Qatar on the eve of the World Cup, which begins on Sunday.