On Monday (25 December), Iran dismissed a US allegation that it was responsible for an attack on a chemical tanker in the Arabian Sea, near the coast of Gujarat, on 23 December, labeling the claim as "baseless".
In response to an inquiry regarding the assault, a spokesperson from Iran's Foreign Ministry said that the “US accusation is baseless.”
This rebuttal came a day after the Pentagon said that a drone launched from Iran had struck the vessel in the Indian Ocean.
The incident took place around 200 nautical miles southwest of Veraval at about 10 am on Saturday and triggered an explosion. While no injuries were reported, it's reported that the ship suffered some damage due to the fire.
A Pentagon representative confirmed in a Sunday statement to news agency Reuters that the ship was hit by a one-way attack drone fired form Iran.
“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 am GMT) today (Saturday) in the Indian Ocean, 200 nautical miles from the coast of India, by a one-way attack drone fired from Iran,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying by news agency Reuters.
The Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) Vikram escorted Chem Pluto in the Arabian Sea towards Mumbai and officials told news agency ANI that Dornier aircraft were also airborne to keep an eye on the merchant vessels and carry out surveillance in the area.
Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.
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