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Iran has issued a warning against attacks on the MV Behshad, a ship suspected by US officials and analysts of providing intelligence for attacks on vessels in the Red Sea and serving as a commando base.
The Iranian army’s Telegram channel released a video stating that actions against the Behshad or similar Iranian vessels would threaten international maritime security and carry global consequences. The video labels the Behshad as engaged in “counter-piracy missions,” though Iran’s involvement in recent anti-piracy efforts in the area is not documented.
US Defense Department’s press secretary, Maj Gen. Patrick Ryder, responded to inquiries about the ship, saying, “I am not aware of the US targeting the Behshad. We are very well aware of the ship.”
The Behshad, registered to a Tehran-based company sanctioned by the US Treasury, reportedly aids the Houthis in identifying and attacking ships in the region. Rear Adm. Marc Miguez highlighted Iranian intelligence’s role in assisting Houthi forces to target commercial shipping, without directly mentioning the Behshad.
US officials speaking to various news outlets claim that the Behshad, alongside its sister vessel Safiz, is equipped with Iranian electronic intelligence for locating targets for Houthi attacks. The ship has been stationary in the Red Sea’s southern part, near strategic maritime points, and has been implicated in facilitating attacks on commercial vessels, which have led to significant disruptions in global shipping routes. As a result, shipping companies are rerouting their vessels, impacting the global supply chain and increasing costs significantly.