Drone attack on Israeli-owned tanker launched from Chabahar in Iran - report

The use of Chabahar by Iran shows not only an escalation by Iran but also reveals that officials in the region are closely monitoring Iran’s threats.

 Defense Minister Benny Gantz is seen addressing the Reichman University conference in Herzliya, on November 23, 2021. (photo credit: DEFENSE MINISTRY)
Defense Minister Benny Gantz is seen addressing the Reichman University conference in Herzliya, on November 23, 2021.
(photo credit: DEFENSE MINISTRY)

A drone that targeted the Israeli-owned Pacific Zircon tanker was flown from Chabahar in southeastern Iran, the BBC reported.

“The drone that was aimed at an oil tanker off Oman yesterday, was launched from IRGC’s Air Force regional command in Chabahar, southeastern Iran,” a senior Western official confirmed to BBC’s Nafiseh Kohnavard on Thursday.

“The drone that was aimed at an oil tanker off Oman yesterday, was launched from IRGC’s Air Force regional command in Chabahar, southeastern Iran.”

Senior Western official

The Liberian-flagged, Israel-affiliated ship was attacked in the Gulf of Oman on Tuesday. Israel accused Iran of being behind the attack.

It is the second time a ship has been attacked by an Iranian kamikaze drone. The Mercer Street was attacked in July 2021 and two crew members were killed. The Pacific Zircon suffered damage but there were no casualties in the attack this week.

US Central Command confirmed in an official statement on Wednesday evening that the drone was of the Shahed-series, likely similar to the kamikaze drones Iran has exported to Russia. “Exploitation of the debris that hit the vessel reveals that it was a Shahed-series one-way attack drown,” CENTCOM said.

"Exploitation of the debris that hit the vessel reveals that it was a Shahed-series one-way attack drown."

CENTCOM

 A part of an unmanned aerial vehicle, what Ukrainian military authorities described as an Iranian made suicide drone Shahed-136 and which was shot down near the town of Kupiansk, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, is seen in Kharkiv region, Ukraine, in this handout picture released September 13, 2022 (credit: THE STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTORATE OF THE UKRAINIAN ARMED FORCES/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS) A part of an unmanned aerial vehicle, what Ukrainian military authorities described as an Iranian made suicide drone Shahed-136 and which was shot down near the town of Kupiansk, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, is seen in Kharkiv region, Ukraine, in this handout picture released September 13, 2022 (credit: THE STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTORATE OF THE UKRAINIAN ARMED FORCES/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

Iran using its own territory to target ships is a new escalation.

In November 2021, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz revealed details about two Iranian drone bases that had been used for Iran’s threats at sea. One was located near Chabahar and the second one was on Qeshm Island.

The use of Chabahar by the Islamic Republic shows not only an escalation but also reveals that officials in the region are closely monitoring Iran’s threats.

The drone attack this week on the tanker was quickly followed by analysis and conclusions about the type of drone and from where it was launched. The CENTCOM report and the latest info about where the drone originated show that the region is taking the emerging Iran drone threat against ships seriously.