White House blames Iran for attack on Indian Ocean tanker

 December 25, 2023

The White House blamed Iran for a missile attack Saturday on a chemical tanker in the Indian Ocean.

No one was hurt in the strike, which caused a fire onboard. The incident is the latest threat to stability and international trade in the region, which has been roiled by the war between Israel and Hamas.

In the weeks since Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, Iran-backed Houthi rebels have launched a series of attacks on ships in the Red Sea, including U.S. Navy vessels.

Drone attack by Iran

Unlike previous strikes, the attack Saturday appears to have come directly from the Iranian regime - which of course denied any responsibility. 

"These repetitive accusations are rejected as baseless," Iran said.

The targeted vessel, the Chem Pluto, is owned by Japan but is "linked" with Israel, the BBC reported.

The ship departed Saudia Arabia for India and was 200 nautical miles from the Indian coast when the attack happened.

The Pentagon said no U.S. Navy vessels were threatened.

“The motor vessel CHEM PLUTO, a Liberia-flagged, Japanese-owned, and Netherlands-operated chemical tanker was struck at approximately 10 a.m. local time (6 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time) today in the Indian Ocean, 200 nautical miles from the coast of India, by a one-way attack drone fired from Iran,” a Pentagon official said in a statement.

"There were no casualties and a fire on board the tanker has been extinguished,” the person added.

“No US Navy vessels were in the vicinity."

Tensions rising

Separately, the USS Laboon shot down four drones as it was patrolling the Red Sea on Saturday.

The White House has blamed Israel's enemy Iran for the rise in threats to commercial vessels in the Red Sea.

“We know that Iran was deeply involved in planning the operations against commercial vessels in the Red Sea. This is consistent with Iran’s long-term materiel support and encouragement of the Houthis’ destabilizing actions in the region," the White House said Friday.

Americans stationed in Iraq and Syria have also been hit dozens of times with missile attacks from Iran-backed militias.

Republicans say Biden has fueled the problem with a foreign policy that has emboldened Iran and its terrorist proxies, like Hamas.

Iran has said it will begin menacing other sea lanes if "America and its allies continue committing crimes" in Gaza.

The Biden administration has warned Israel to begin de-escalating its operation in Gaza soon, or risk losing global support.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
© 2015 - 2024 Conservative Institute. All Rights Reserved.