Iran navy escorting Iranian commercial ships to Red Sea, commander says

By Thomson Reuters Apr 17, 2024 | 2:59 AM

DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran’s navy is escorting Iranian commercial ships to the Red Sea, Naval Commander Shahram Irani said on Wednesday, according to the semi-official Tasnim news agency.

The move follows the first-ever direct Iranian attack on Israel, carried out in retaliation for a suspected Israeli strike on an Iranian diplomatic compound in Damascus.

Iran is bracing for a possible Israeli retaliation, with Israel’s war cabinet meeting on Wednesday to discuss a response.

“The Navy is carrying out a mission to escort Iranian commercial ships to the Red Sea and our Jamaran frigate is present in the Gulf of Aden in this view,” Irani said.

Tehran was ready to escort vessels of other countries, he added.

The Red Sea has seen significant disruption to Israel-bound shipping due to attacks from Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthis.

On April 13, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards seized the MSC Aries, a Portuguese-flagged container ship which Tehran says is linked to Israel.

(Reporting by Dubai Newsroom; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Angus MacSwan)