Al-Mayadeen reported that Iranian drones recorded the footage, which shows the ship that was allegedly attacked on February 26 in the Sea of Oman, was not actually targeted from the outside.
The footage shows that the holes created in the sides of the Israeli ship “were not created by an external attack, but some individuals inside the ship created the holes in order to indicate that the ship was attacked,” the news network reported.
On February 26, an Israeli-owned cargo ship said it had been crippled by a suspected blast while it was in the Sea of Oman, claiming that it suffered holes in both sides of its hull.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hastily accused Iran of attacking the ship. “This was indeed an operation by Iran. That is clear,” he said, without providing any evidence. Netanyahu also said Iran “is Israel’s biggest enemy and we are striking them across the region.”
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh flatly rejected the allegation. He said Netanyahu “suffers from Iranophobia” and that Iran will not allow the Israeli regime to spread panic in the region.
Al-Mayadeen cited an informed Iranian official as saying that the timing of the incident is one of the main reasons it was a false-flag attack.
“There is no reason to carry out an operation against an Israeli cargo ship, especially in the weeks prior to the [Israeli] elections,” said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The official said it is not the first time the Israeli ship came to the Persian Gulf, but rather, the ship first entered the Persian Gulf in March 2020 and docked in Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
“Netanyahu’s claim that Iran targeted the ship on the eve of the Israeli elections raises suspicions,” the Iranian official said, adding, “[Joe] Biden’s rise to power in the US and the decline of [Mohammed] bin Salman’s power have led to the Zionist regime’s concerns.”
The source also said that in order to escape from the fragile electoral situation and to restore former US President Donald Trump’s policies toward the region during Biden’s term, Netanyahu has found no way but to raise the alarm against Iran.
In a letter addressed to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Friday, Iran’s ambassador to the UN warned of the ramifications of any possible miscalculated measure by Israel over the incident.
“The incident has all the characteristic of a complicated false-flag operation carried out by actors in order to pursue their malign policies and to advance their illegitimate objectives,” wrote Majid Takht Ravanchi.
“The Israeli regime that threatens Iran on an almost daily basis, desperately attempts, through accusing Iran as well as playing victim, to distract attention away from all its destabilizing acts and malign practices across the region,” Takht Ravanchi added.