Blast in Red Sea slightly damages Iranian ship

Tehran (IANS) The Iranian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday confirmed that authorities are looking into an explosion in the Red Sea that left a ship slightly damaged.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said that no crew members were injured in the explosion on Tuesday night, but did not comment on reports that the ship was attacked by Israel, reports dpa news agency citing local media.

The New York Times, citing an unnamed US representative, reported Israel had informed the US that its forces had attacked the ship in response to previous Iranian attacks on Israeli ships.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had blamed Iran for an explosion on an Israeli company's cargo ship in the Gulf of Oman in March.

A spokeswoman for the Israeli military said that the army does not comment on foreign media reports.

Iran's Tasnim news agency had originally reported on the explosion and damage to the ship, which escorts Iranian merchant ships in the Red Sea.

It did not give further details.

According to the US website GlobalSecurity.org, the damaged freighter is used by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The Foreign Ministry spokesman described the ship as a "security guarantor for shipping routes".
 

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