An anchored vessel in the Red Sea which was apparently meant to be the base of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has been attacked, confirmed the Iranian state television recently.
The MV Saviz had been in Red Sea for years together and had been functioning as a remote hub for the Iranian military. While the vehicle had been sanctioned by the US repeatedly once before its landing at the Red Sea in 2016 and then later as well.
Reports of a possible explosion on the hull of the cargo vessel were shared as Iran has entered into dialogue with other powerful nations of the world in Vienna this week. Saudi Arabia has repeatedly express concern over the presence of the vessel that has been stationed in the Red Sea, posing a threat to the geopolitical situation around it. Countries around include Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Yemen and Jordon.
There have been indications that the vessel might have been used to provide arms and ammunition to the Houthi rebels stationed in Yemen. Iran has unequivocally denied the claims. However, components found in the rebels’ weaponry have indicated links back to Tehran.
Briefing materials from the Saudi military earlier obtained by the media has indicated that men on the vessel were dressed in military-style fatigues and a variety of antennas on the vessel that the Saudi government described as unusual for a commercial cargo ship, suggesting it conducted electronic surveillance. Other images showed the ship had mounts for .50-calibre machine guns.
A media statement made by Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh soon after the attack claims that, “this is a non military vessel that provides security for shipping lanes and counter piracy in the area.”
According statement made to the New York Times, Israel indeed had notified the U.S. that its forces were going to strike the Saviz. Political analysts believe this is because the Israeli government continues to oppose the 2015 nuclear accord and doesn’t want the U.S. to lift sanctions on the Islamic Republic without a new deal that addresses Tehran’s ballistic missile program and regional proxy forces. Power pack meeting has recently concluded in Vienna to discuss future course of action with Iran with regards to the rest of the world.