(JNS) Iran confirmed this week that an Iranian-flagged vessel had sustained minor damage from an explosion off the coast of Djibouti.
“Fortunately, no casualties were reported as a result of the accident, and technical investigations are underway into how the accident happened and its origin,” said Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh, according to the Tehran Times.
The explosion was apparently caused by a mine attached to the ship’s hull, according to the report.
The Iranian announcement comes a day after a The New York Times report claiming that Israel had informed the United States that it was responsible for the attack.
According to Khatibzadeh, the ship, the MV Saviz, is a civilian vessel registered with the International Maritime Organization (IMO). It was stationed in the Red Sea region and in the Gulf of Aiden “to provide maritime security along the shipping lanes and to fight pirates,” he said, adding that the vessel “practically acted as a logistics station.”
According to the Tehran Times, the Saviz was stationed in the Red Sea to support Iranian commandos deployed to escort commercial vessels.
A series of attacks have involved Iranian and Israeli ships in recent months.
According to the Times’ report, which quoted an unnamed U.S. official, in addition to notifying the U.S. of the operation, Israel claimed it was retaliation for Iranian attacks against Israeli vessels in recent months.