Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Reshet Bet radio Monday morning that the explosion in the Israeli-owned ship MV Helios Ray near Oman “was indeed perpetrated by Iran, it’s clear.” The Prime Minister added that Iran “is Israel’s greatest enemy and we are beating it throughout the region. The Iranians will not have nuclear weapons – with or without an agreement. I also said this to my friend Biden.”
MV Helios Ray has begun repairs in the port of Dubai after being hit by explosions while sailing in the Gulf of Oman last Thursday (Repairs Begin on MV Helios Ray in Dubai Port, as Israeli Investigators Continue Security Probe).
Israeli defense officials were quoted as saying they believe Iranian IRGC Naval forces fired two missiles, targeting a part of the ship. But Alon Ben David, a senior defense correspondent for Israel’s Channel 13 reported Sunday night that an examination of the ship revealed it had been hit by naval mines. It is still unclear in which port the magnetic mines were affixed to the side of the hull of the MV Helios Ray, a vehicle carrier that flew the flag of Bahamas but was owned by Israeli businessman Avraham (Rami) Unger.
Israel is convinced the IRGC Navy is behind the attack.
The daily Kayhan, which is considered “the most conservative Iranian newspaper” representing the views of the Supreme Leader of Iran, claimed on Sunday that the MV Helios Ray was “a legitimate target” for an Iranian attack because it was “gathering information” about the Arabian Gulf and the Sea of Oman when it was hit.
Citing “military experts,” Kayhan said: “This spy ship, although it was sailing secretly, may have fallen into the ambush of one of the branches of the resistance axis,” and Israeli “attacks and crimes in the region, which have been going on publicly for some time, seem to have finally made it a legitimate target,” Kayhan said.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz also said Iran was the likely suspect, adding, “We will need to keep investigating but we can say for sure that Iran is attempting to damage Israeli infrastructure and to hurt Israeli citizens.”