Iran will “undoubtedly” respond to the attack on one of its ships in the Red Sea once it identifies the culprits, Tehran’s top military spokesman warned on Thursday.
“We will respond without any doubt to the attack on our ship Saviz in the Red Sea once we identify those involved,” said Brig. Gen. Abolfazl Shekarchi, spokesman for Iran’s armed forces, according to Iran's state broadcaster IRIB.
The comments were originally made in an exclusive interview with the Arabic edition of Russian media outlet Sputnik. Russia has long been vocal in its support to sometimes ally Iran.
Once the investigation into the incident is concluded, Tehran will decide on an appropriate response, Shekarchi added. Iran suspects Israel and the United States were behind the attack, he said.
“The US is undoubtedly involved in all attempts to undermine and harm Iran,” Shekarchi added.
Iran’s foreign ministry confirmed on Wednesday that the Iranian ship Saviz had been targeted in the Red Sea.
“The explosion occurred on Tuesday morning near the Djibouti coast and caused minor damage with no casualties. The vessel was a civilian ship stationed there to secure the region against pirates,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said.
Tasnim, a news agency affiliated with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, reported that the ship was attacked in the Red Sea by limpet mines attached to the hull.
The attack is the latest in a series of attacks on Israeli- and Iranian-owned cargo ships since late February, for which the two sides have held the other responsible.
The attack also happened on the day the US and Iran began indirect talks in Vienna over a return to the 2015 nuclear deal that Washington abandoned under former President Donald Trump in 2018. Israel is strongly opposed to the deal.
Israeli officials have not commented on the attack.