Iranian forces board a ship linked to an Israeli businessman within the Strait of Hormuz | International | EUROtoday

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Members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard boarded this Saturday within the Strait of Hormuz from a helicopter on MSC Aries, a Portuguese-flagged ship and owned by a subsidiary of Zodiac Maritime, one of many main worldwide delivery corporations. This firm is partially owned by Eyal Ofer, an Israeli businessman whose ships have been attacked prior to now, Iranian state information company Irna confirmed. The assault on the boat, which Iranian forces have taken to the nation, happens within the midst of pressure on account of Tehran's introduced revenge for the homicide of 13 folks (together with a number of senior officers of the Revolutionary Guard) in an Israeli bombing in opposition to a consular constructing in Syria. This Tuesday, the pinnacle of the Revolutionary Guard naval drive, Alireza Tangsiri, had warned that they may shut the Strait of Hormuz, an necessary maritime passageway between Iran, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. Israeli diplomacy has already reacted, urging the EU to “immediately declare the Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization and sanction Iran,” as a result of the boat had the flag of considered one of its member states.

The Saudi tv channel Al Arabiya has broadcast a video during which persons are seen reducing onto the ship with a rope from a helicopter. Shortly earlier than, the British Navy had indicated {that a} vessel within the Strait of Hormuz had been seized northeast of the port metropolis of Fujairah, within the United Arab Emirates, “by regional authorities,” with out specifying. The Iranian state company has famous that “details related to the seizure of the vessel will be announced later.”

The Zodiac Maritime firm has launched a press release during which it signifies that the ship belongs to considered one of its subsidiaries, Gortal Shipping Incas, which had it “long-term leased” to Mediterranean Shipping Company, the most important container delivery firm and which was in control of “all activities, including freight operations and maintenance” of the ship.

Israel Katz, Foreign Minister of Israel, has issued a press release during which he emphasizes that the MSC Aries “belongs to a member country of the European Union”, Portugal, and calls on the EU and the remainder of the “free world to immediately declare the Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization and sanction Iran.” “The Ayatollah regime of [el líder supremo, Ali] Khamenei is a criminal regime that supports the crimes of Hamas and is now carrying out a pirate operation in violation of international law.” Just after the primary information of the cargo ship grew to become recognized, Israeli military spokesman Daniel Hagari issued a press release warning Iran that it “will bear the consequences of choosing to escalate this situation further.”

“Gain time”

Rouzbeh Parsi, head of the Middle East and North Africa program on the Swedish Institute of International Affairs assume tank, believes that, for Iran, capturing this ship “is a way of doing something that is not serious enough to legitimize retaliation.” “Israel that in turn provokes an escalation.” “My prediction is that, with this limited-scope act, Iran intends to avoid this Israeli retaliation, but it is unpredictable whether or not this will deter Israel from responding. I doubt that this is all that Iran is going to do, but it does help it buy time,” he explains.

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This Friday — with oil at its highest for months awaiting the response, an increasing number of Western nations elevating the alert degree for journey to Israel and extra airways avoiding flying over the Middle East — the president of the United States, Joe Biden, He famous that he anticipated Iran to retaliate in opposition to Israel “sooner rather than later.” Asked what his message to Tehran was, he replied solely: “No. [lo hagan]”. A day later, the newspaper The Washington Post has revealed that the Pentagon has despatched extra warships and planes to the world. The purpose: “to strengthen deterrence efforts and increase the protection of American forces,” in keeping with a protection official cited by the newspaper on situation of anonymity.

In this context, the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs introduced this Saturday the closure of its embassy in Tehran from this Sunday, April 14, “as a precaution.” And KLM, the nation's division of the Air France-KLM group, will cease flying over Israel and Iran for a similar motive, though it should keep the path to Ben Gurion airport, close to Tel Aviv, which hardly includes getting into Israeli territory and continues to contemplate protected. Lufthansa and its subsidiary Austrian Airlines, the one two Western corporations with routes to Tehran, have stopped flying over Iran nowadays.

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