Erdan to UN: Iran responsible for attack on Israeli ship near Oman

Erdan to UN: Iran responsible for attack on Israeli ship near Oman

Following the attack on an Israeli cargo vessel in the Gulf of Oman on February 25, Israel’s Ambassador to the US and the UN Gilad Erdan filed an official letter of complaint to the UN Security Council and Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday, blaming the Iranian regime for the attack.

The vehicle-carrier ship MV Helios Ray was hit on Thursday night by a blast above the water line that a US official said ripped holes in both sides of its hull. An Israeli official said limpet mines were used.

In the letter, Erdan emphasized that Israel has the right and will “take all necessary measures to protect its citizens.”

“Israel has repeatedly warned of Iran’s unceasing malign activities and has highlighted these violations in numerous calls to the international community and letters to the United Nations Security Council, providing concrete, verified and documented evidence of the Iranian regime’s reckless and illicit behavior in the Middle East and beyond,” Erdan wrote in the letter.

In the letter – addressed to US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, as the US is currently holding the rotating presidency of the UNSC – Erdan stressed that the “repeated Iranian and Iranian-sponsored terrorist attacks at sea not only jeopardize the safety and security of international shipping in flagrant violation of international conventions and norms relating to maritime safety and navigation, but also constitute blatant and repeated violations of the United Nations Charter and of Security Council Resolutions.”The Israeli ambassador demanded that council members condemn Iran’s actions and warned that “the State of Israel will take all necessary measures to protect its citizens and its sovereignty.” 

“I urge the Security Council to condemn the Iranian violations of the United Nations Charter and hold the Iranian regime responsible for this attack and for destabilizing the region,” he wrote.

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Erdan also spoke with Thomas-Greenfield on Tuesday about “critical issues on both our agendas: combatting climate change, racism and domestic violence, as well as working to expand the real peace deals and see real change at the UN,” he wrote on Twitter.

She tweeted in response that it was “great to speak with” Erdan.

“I look forward to working toward these and other shared priorities,” she wrote.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Iran on Monday for a blast aboard an Israeli-owned ship in the Gulf of Oman last week but sidestepped a question on whether Israel would retaliate.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz said on Saturday that Iran is the main suspect behind the attack overnight Thursday on an Israeli-owned cargo vessel that was damaged by a mysterious explosion in the Gulf of Oman.

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“We will need to keep investigating, but we can say for sure that Iran is attempting to damage Israeli infrastructure and to hurt Israeli citizens,” Gantz told KAN. He noted that the ship’s proximity to Iran during the incident has strengthened the suspicions against Tehran.

Some link this incident to the unsuccessful attempts by Iran and its proxies to avenge the death of senior Iranian figures, such as top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who was gunned down in November outside of Tehran. The Islamic Republic, which blamed Israel for the assassination, is suspected of being behind an explosion near the Israel Embassy in New Delhi last month in which no one was injured.

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Tobias Siegal and Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.

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