Iran on Monday denied claims made by the US that its drone targeted a tanker heading towards India off the coast of Gujarat, igniting a fire on the crude carrier MV Chem Pluto on Saturday, which was carrying 21 Indians and one Vietnamese crew member. Washington’s accusations were deemed “worthless” even as the ship that was attacked arrived outside the port of Mumbai on Monday.
According to a naval spokesman, the ship was examined by the Indian Navy’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal team upon arrival off the coast of Mumbai, and they evaluated the kind and intensity of the attack. The initial inquiry suggested that there had been a drone attack. As per the Navy, additional forensic and technical analysis is necessary to determine the attack vector, including the kind and quantity of explosives utilized.
Nasser Kanani, a spokesman for Iran’s foreign ministry, stated, “We declare these claims to be rejected and worthless. Claims of this nature are intended to deflect attention from the crimes committed by the Zionist regime (Israel) in Gaza and to conceal the full support of the US government for these crimes.
200 nautical miles off the coast of India, the motor vessel Chem Pluto, a chemical tanker owned and operated by Japan and flying the flag of Liberia, was struck by a one-way attack drone fired from Iran, according to a Pentagon spokesperson cited by foreign news agencies shortly after the attack on the ship on Saturday.
The attack on the tanker MV Chem Pluto on Saturday was part of a barrage of missile and drone assaults in the Red Sea by Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who are supported by Iran, in support of the Palestinians in Gaza. The US Central Command said on Sunday that shortly after the assault, the MV Sai Baba, a ship bound for India that had 25 Indians on board, was subjected to another drone attack. As a result, on Saturday, the ship made a distress call to a US destroyer.
It has been reported that the MV Chem Pluto set out from the United Arab Emirates on December 19 and had an arrival date of December 25 at the port of New Mangalore. In the meantime, to safeguard commercial ships traveling through the area, the Indian Coast Guard has increased patrols there.