UPDATE, 10:47 a.m.: Iran has denied Israel’s accusations that it is linked to Yemen’s Houthi rebels’ capture of the cargo ship in the Red Sea, Tehran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani told a press conference on Monday. , reports Reuters.
“We have said several times that resistance groups in the region act independently and spontaneously according to their interests and that of their people,” the spokesman said.
The Iranian official also claimed that Israel is making these accusations to distract attention from the “irreparable defeat” in its fight against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.
UPDATE, 09.32: The Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announces Monday morning that a Romanian citizen is among the crew members of the ship captured by the Houthi rebels in the Red Sea.
“On November 19, the ship Galaxy Leader, under the flag of the Bahamas, which was sailing in the Red Sea, was captured by the Houthi militias and taken near the coast of Yemen, and according to the initial information, among the crew members were and a Romanian citizen”, announces the MAE.
In this case, an Interinstitutional Crisis Cell was activated which, “in cooperation and coordination with the other Romanian authorities with attributions in the matter and in close connection with other international partners, continues to monitor the situation with maximum attention and undertakes steps to resolve it” , the MAE also transmits.
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Initial news: The rebels confirmed the capture of a ship they said was Israeli.
The Japanese government also confirmed the capture of the Nippon Yusen-operated Galaxy Leader. The ship belongs to a company registered under the name Ray Car Carriers, which is based in the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea, an island dependency of the British Crown. Ray Car Carriers is a unit of Tel Aviv-based Ray Shipping, according to the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG).
“We are treating the ship’s crew in accordance with Islamic principles and values,” said a representative of the Houthi rebels, a group allied to Iran.
The Japanese company Nippon Yusen (NYK) specified that the ship’s crew consists of 25 people, citizens of the Philippines, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Romania and Mexico.
The ship had left Europe and was heading, unladen, for India. It normally carries cars.
The Japanese government requested the help of the authorities in Saudi Arabia, Oman and Iran to get involved in the quick release of the ship and the crew.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said a vessel had been seized, without naming the vessel, adding that there were no Israelis on board and that Israel had no connection to the vessel’s ownership or operation.
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“This is another act of Iranian terrorism that represents an escalation of Iran’s belligerence against the citizens of the free world, with concomitant international ramifications regarding the security of global sea lanes,” Netanyahu’s office said.
Houthi rebels have previously warned they could target ships owned or operated by Israeli companies or flying the Israeli flag.
Since the beginning of the war between Israel and Hamas, the Houthis have launched long-range missiles and drones against Israel.
Illustrative photo: instagram.com/nykline_official/
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