by: Kate Norman
Friday, 18 November 2022 | An Israeli-owned oil tanker was attacked by an Iranian drone in the Gulf of Oman on Tuesday, US Central Command (CENTCOM) confirmed Wednesday.
The Pacific Zircon is a tanker bearing the Liberian flag but is operated by Singapore-based Eastern Pacific Shipping company, which is owned by Israeli billionaire Idan Ofer. The ship was carrying a cargo of oil when it was attacked approximately 150 miles (241 km.) off the coast of Oman around 10:00 p.m. local time.
There were no reported injuries or pollution from the attack, Eastern Pacific Shipping said in a statement on Wednesday, though the attack did cause “minor damage to the vessel’s hull but no spillage of cargo or water ingress.”
US CENTCOM also issued a statement on Wednesday announcing that examining the debris of the drone revealed it to be an Iranian Shahed-series one-way attack drone.
The Iranian drone is the same type that the regime has been using increasingly throughout the Middle East. It is also the same type of drone that Iran sent to Russia for use in its ongoing invasion of Ukraine, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan noted in his own statement on Wednesday.
The BBC, citing an unnamed Western official, reported that the drone was launched from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC’s) base in Iran’s port city of Chabahar.
The Pacific Zircon was still off the coast of Oman as of Tuesday, scheduled to head for the Buenos Aires port, the Jerusalem Post reported, citing ship tracking site MarineTraffic.
This attack on the Pacific Zircon shows a more direct level of aggression from Iran. And this is not the first Iranian attack on an Israeli-owned ship in the region.
Iran was accused of attacking the Mercer Street oil tanker also in the Gulf of Oman in July 2021, killing two crew members.
The Mercer Street was owned by a Japanese company and operated by Zodiac Maritime, based in London and owned by Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer—Idan Ofer’s brother. And once again, Iran reportedly used a Shahed drone.
But why the attack this week? The Jerusalem Post reported, citing Israeli officials, that Iran launched the drone to distract from its failed attempt to assassinate an Israeli businessman in Georgia.
Posted on November 18, 2022
Source: (Bridges for Peace, November 18, 2022)
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