The New York Times cited a person familiar with the Hyperion Ray, a cargo ship owned by Israeli businessman Rami Unger that was attacked on Tuesday by an Iranian missile, who said the ship had evaded the attack and was not hit. Israeli media reported the Hyperion Ray sustained some damage.
The Iranians attacked the Israeli-owned cargo ship off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, probably in retaliation for the devastating explosion on Sunday that took out the entire electric system at Iran’s Natanz nuclear plant, creating a 20-foot crater (Israeli-Owned ‘Hyperion Ray’ Struck by Iranian Missile Near UAE).
The Times cited an Israeli security official who said Israel wants to reduce tensions in the Persian Gulf region and is not planning to retaliate with an attack on an Iranian asset.
The MV Helios Ray cargo ship, also owned by Unger, was attacked in February by Iranian IRGC naval commandos.
Lori, another Israeli-owned cargo ship, was attacked in the Arabian Sea on March 25 and is currently heading to India, where its damage will be assessed.
Ynet’s military commentator Ron Ben Yishai noted on Tuesday that Israel has an interest in lowering the flames in the naval conflict with the Islamic Republic and that a decision on this matter has already been made in Jerusalem last week. According to Ben Yishai, the naval campaign is causing more damage to Israel than to Iran, since the Israeli vessels must pay for additional security measures and endure higher insurance premiums, while the Iranian ships attacked by Israel (most recently a mine attack on an Iranian military vessel in the Red Sea) are usually insured with Iranian insurance companies.
According to the Times, Israel has already turned to the Biden administration for help protecting its ships from further attacks by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. The US Navy’s 5th Fleet is currently deployed in the Persian Gulf, and as of Feb. 23, US naval forces there included two carriers, 20 ships, 103 strike aircraft, and approximately 20,000 sailors and marines.
According to the Washington Post, US troops are deployed throughout the Gulf region, with the following countries involved in some aspect of the buildup: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Diego Garcia, and Turkey. As of Feb. 23, the total US military force in the region had grown to more than 300 combat aircraft, 30 ships, and personnel numbering about 35,000, including sailors, soldiers, Marines, and airmen.