Facts about the ship that Iran seized and said was “linked” to Israel

A special forces unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Navy carried out an attack on the Portuguese-flagged MSC Aires, a container ship belonging to the London-based Zodiac Meritime company.

Zodiac Meritime is part of the Zodiac Group owned by Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer. Zodiac declined to comment on the incident and referred questions to MSC.

Maritime said in a statement that MSC is the manager and commercial operator of the ship that was seized by Iranian authorities on Saturday.

The company said, “MSC is responsible for all ship activities, including shipping and maintenance operations.

The seized ship is owned by Gortal Shipping Company, which is the financier, and it has been leased to MSC on a long-term basis. Gortal Shipping is a subsidiary of Zodiac Maritime.

For its part, MSC confirmed in a statement that the Iranian authorities boarded the ship by helicopter while it was passing through the Strait of Hormuz.

She explained that the crew of 25 people on board the ship are communicating closely with the relevant authorities to ensure their safety and the safe return of the ship.

And on the site “Vessel Finder“Specialized in tracking the path of ships, it appears that the ship was in the Arabian Gulf hours before the attack.

The website said that the ship was on its way to the port of Nhava Sheva in India, and was expected to reach its destination on April 15.

The ship is specialized in transporting containers and was built in 2020.

The ship was last located off Dubai heading toward the Strait of Hormuz on Friday. The ship had turned off its tracking data, which is common for Israeli ships moving through the region.

A Middle Eastern defense official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss issues, had previously shown a video clip of the attack to The Associated Press. The recording shows commandos landing on a pile of containers on the ship’s deck.

A crew member on the ship could be heard saying: “Don’t get out.” A crewmate then tells his crewmates to go to the ship’s bridge while more commandos descend on the deck. One commando can be seen kneeling on top of the others, apparently to provide them with fire cover.

The incident comes amid escalating tensions between Iran and the West, especially after the suspected Israeli attack on the Iranian consulate in Syria.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said on Saturday that Tehran had carried out a piracy operation and sanctions should be imposed on it, after the Iranian Revolutionary Guard seized control of a cargo ship linked to Israel in the Strait of Hormuz.

“The regime of Ayatollah Khamenei is a criminal regime that supports the crimes of Hamas and is now carrying out a hacking operation in violation of international law,” Katz added.

“I call on the European Union and the free world to declare the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization and impose sanctions on Iran immediately,” he said.

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