The Liberian-flagged oil tanker Mercer Street off Cape Town, South Africa, Jan. 2, 2016. (AP)

August 19, 2021

Discussions between the political echelon and the top echelons of the IDF and the Mossad took place last week regarding the naval arena and Iran’s activity against Israeli-owned vessels.
According to senior members of the IDF General Staff and Navy, Israel has exhausted its political activity against Iran, and therefore a military response is required, following Iran’s recent attacks against the Mercer Street tanker.
According to senior IDF sources, the ayatollahs’ regime should not be allowed to attack Israeli tankers, as this could lead to serious damage to Israeli interests in the future and endanger civilian vessels on shipping lines around the world.
They further argued that according to all indications, negotiations between Iran and the West on the nuclear project should resume in the coming weeks, assuming no last-minute changes take place.
On the other hand, the political echelon called for cooling the atmosphere at this stage and settling for the condemnations issued by the Britain and the United States, as a military response would harm the ongoing political effort against Iran, and could rescue it from criticism ahead of the nuclear project negotiations.
At the same time, sources familiar with the discussions said last night that a change in the attitude of the political echelon is possible if new intelligence information concerning Iran enters.
On July 31, foreign media reported that the Mercer Street had been attacked near the island of Masirah, and that two crew members on board, a British and a Romanian citizen, had been killed.
The shipping company to which the tanker belongs, Zodiac Maritime, is owned by the Israeli Eyal Ofer, and was on its way to the United Arab Emirates. Israel has accused Iran of attacking the ship, and later the United States and Britain condemned Tehran and the killing of the crew.
The Jerusalem Post

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Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.