Cargo ship, lately beneath Israeli command, is hit on encounter on the excessive seas

A merchant ship previously owned by an Israeli company was attacked in the Indian Ocean on Saturday in what appears to be the final battle in a dark regional conflict between Israel and Iran.

The ship, which until recently was owned by Zodiac Maritime, a London-based company led by Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer, is believed to have been attacked by an Iranian drone or naval command, an Israeli national security officer said anonymously Discuss national security matters. The officer said the ship suffered little or no damage. There were no reports of injuries.

The ship was recently acquired by another company with no Israeli affiliation, according to someone familiar with the ship’s history.

The attack on the ship, which was en route from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to the port city of Jebel Ali in the United Arab Emirates came as the United States and Iran worked to revive their 2015 nuclear deal, an effort Israel has undertaken opposes.

It also came about 10 days after the Iranian Atomic Energy Agency said an attack on one of its facilities had been foiled. But satellite imagery of the site, revealed Saturday, showed it had suffered significant damage.

Israel remained mother to this attack. But the site, one of Iran’s main manufacturing centers for manufacturing the centrifuges, was on a list of targets Israel presented to the Trump administration early last year.

Iran did not officially assume responsibility for the sea attack on Saturday, but media organizations in Iran and media in the wider Middle East that sympathize with Iran gave extensive coverage of the attack.

And in an obvious reference to the attack, a telegram channel of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, the outward branch of the country’s powerful security apparatus, posted an old photo of a burning ship.

Israel and Iran have been fighting each other on land and in the air in many Middle Eastern countries for years, with Iran often using deputies. But the opponents recently opened a new front in their conflict, on the high seas.

Since 2019, Israel has been attacking ships carrying Iranian oil and weapons through the eastern Mediterranean and the Red Sea.

Iran has carried out its own sea attacks. In March and April, Israeli cargo ships came under Iranian fire, according to Israeli officials.

The attack on Saturday, the Israeli National Security official said, was believed to be the result of a miscalculation by Iran, which the official said may have been in possession of inaccurate information about the possession of the CSAV Tyndall ship.

In a statement, Israel-led Zodiac Maritime confirmed that it no longer owns the ship. A database from the United Nations International Maritime Organization showed that CSAV Tyndall was now owned by another London-based company called Polar 5 LTD.

Since ships with ties to Israel came under fire in March and April, the United States has escorted Israeli ships in and around the Persian Gulf and warned of Iranian attacks, according to US and Israeli intelligence officials.

The last warning of a possible Iranian attack that came from American intelligence services was on June 1, the same day that David Barnea, the new chief of Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, took office, an intelligence official said.

Farnaz Fassihi contributed to the coverage.

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