Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Iran of attacking an Israeli-owned ship in the Gulf of Oman last week.
Netanyahu told the Israeli public service Khan on Monday that “it really was Iran, that’s clear.”
“Iran is Israel’s biggest enemy, I am determined to stop it. “We are hitting the entire region,” he told Netanyahu.
On Friday, a mysterious explosion hit Israeli MV Helios Rai, a cargo ship with a rotating vehicle under the flag of the Bahamas, while sailing from the Middle East on its way to Singapore.
The crew was unharmed in the blast, but the ship had two holes on the side and two on the right just above the waterline, according to U.S. defense officials.
The ship arrived in the port of Dubai for repairs on Sunday, days after an explosion that revived security concerns on Middle Eastern waterways amid heightened tensions with Iran.
It remains unclear what caused the explosion. Helios Rai emptied cars in various ports in the bay before the explosion forced him to reverse the direction. He agreed to repairs and inspections in Dubai on Sunday.
In recent days, the Israeli Minister of Defense and the Chief of the Army have indicated that they hold Iran responsible for the attack.
Overnight, Syrian state media reported on a series of alleged Israeli airstrikes near Damascus, saying that air defense systems intercepted most of the projectiles. Israeli media report that the alleged airstrikes were on Iranian targets in response to the ship’s attack.
In recent years, Israel has hit hundreds of Iranian targets in neighboring Syria, and Netanyahu has repeatedly said that Israel will not accept a permanent Syrian military presence there.
The Israeli military declined to comment. There was no immediate response from Iran to Israeli allegations.
Iran has blamed Israel for a recent series of attacks, including a mysterious explosion in the middle of last year that destroyed an advanced centrifuge assembly plant at its Natanz nuclear plant and the murder of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a top Iranian scientist who founded the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program two decades ago. Iran has repeatedly sworn to avenge the assassination of Fakhrizadeh.
Iranian threats of retaliation have caused alarm in Israel following the country’s normalization agreement with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.