Iran strongly rejects Israel’s claim that Tehran was behind a blast aboard an Israeli-owned ship in the Gulf of Oman last week, an Iranian foreign ministry spokesman said in a televised news conference on Monday.
“We strongly reject this accusation... the security of the Persian Gulf is extremely important for Iran,” Saeed Khatibzadeh said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Iran on Monday for a blast aboard the MV Helios Ray, a vehicle-carrier ship, but sidestepped a question on whether Israel would retaliate.
The ship washit overnight by a blast above the water line that a US official said ripped holes in both sides of its hull.
“This was indeed an operation by Iran. That is clear,” Netanyahu told Kan radio.
Asked if Israel would retaliate, he repeated previous statements about his determination to prevent Iran from developing nuclear capacity and added: “We are striking at it (Iran) all over the region.”
Kan said the interview was recorded on Sunday night, before Syria accused Israel of carrying out missile strikes around southern Damascus. Israel did not confirm that, but has previously said it was launching frequent military actions against Iranian deployment or arms handovers within Syria.