Photo Credit: YouTube screenshot
The Iranian ship MV Saviz was attacked by Israel, April 6, 2021.

On March 11, 2021, the Wall Street Journal reported that Israel had “targeted at least a dozen vessels bound for Syria and mostly carrying Iranian oil, out of concern that petroleum profits are funding extremism in the Middle East (Israeli Strikes Target Iranian Oil Bound for Syria). The report cited “US and regional officials” who pointed to “a new front in the conflict between Israel and Iran.” According to the report, Israel carried out the attacks using submarine mines.

Following the publication, Iran began attacking Israeli-owned ships, and the IDF estimates that the publication damaged Israel’s ability to attack Iran by sea.


In response to the leak from “regional officials,” Israel’s Attorney General at the time Avichai Mandelblit decided to launch an investigation and sought the cooperation of the IDF, Shin Bet, and Mossad.

Kan 11 News reported Wednesday night that the IDF Information Security Department interrogated 1,200 officers and soldiers, including 10 high-ranking officials, in an attempt to locate the source of the leak. The leak was not located, and investigators now believe it did not originate in the army. The IDF reported to the State Attorney’s Office: “The potential for security damage from publishing the information is very serious, but it has not been proven that actual damage was caused.”

The IDF spokesman said: “As part of the security investigation, no indications of the source of the leak were found. Following the findings, recommendations were formulated and guidelines were refined for all relevant IDF personnel, which are already being implemented today.”

About a month after the WSJ report, on April 6, 2021, the Iranian intelligence-gathering vessel MV Saviz was damaged by naval mines in the Red Sea, off the coast of Eritrea. The ship, which had anchored for several years in the Red Sea, served as a base for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. The ship was equipped with intelligence domes and antennas. At least three speedboats were parked on board and were used to transport personnel to Yemen.

On April 7, the New York Times cited Biden administration officials who sold Israel down the river, revealing it had attacked the ship to avenge Iranian attacks on Israeli-owned ships in the Persian Gulf.


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