Iran rejects involvement in Red Sea ship hijacking by Yemen rebels

Tehran, Nov 20, (dpa/GNA) – Iran, has rejected any involvement in the hijacking of a cargo ship, by Yemeni rebels in the Red Sea at the weekend.

Resistance groups make decisions based on their own interests, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani, said at a press conference in Tehran on Monday.

Yemen’s Houthi rebels on Sunday, seized the Bahamas-flagged Galaxy Leader cargo ship off the coast of Yemen, and took the two dozen crew members hostage.

Iran supports the Houthis’ fight in their civil war with Yemen’s official government, which is backed by Saudi Arabia.

Iran and Israel are arch-rivals, with Tehran also supporting the militant groups Hamas and Hezbollah.

The Houthis said they had hijacked the ship, due to Israel’s attacks in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

Israeli media reported the cargo ship, is operated by a company partly owned by British-Israeli businessman Rami Ungar.

The 190-metre-long freighter is used for transporting cars. It not an Israeli ship, nor are there Israeli citizens on board, according to the Israeli government.

The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, held Iran directly responsible for the hijacking, and called it an act of Iranian terrorism.

The Israel-Hamas war erupted on October 7, with Hamas massacring some 1,200 people in Israel.

An air and ground offensive by Israel has killed some 13,000 people in Gaza, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry.