Middle East latest: Iranian commandos hijack cargo ship linked to Israel by helicopter – Israel vows ‘consequences’ | World news

Analysis: Iran sent a message to Israel’s allies – chaos is at hand

Alex Ross, International Correspondent

It was not an act of sea piracy, nor was it intended to be. It was a warning from a major power that would impose sanctions at the highest level in Tehran.

At daylight, commandos from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps board and maneuver the ship through the strategically important Strait of Hormuz.

Huge amounts of oil and gas pass through the waterway every day – if it were to be blocked, it would have huge consequences for global trade. In short, it will lead to chaos.

Why did the Iranians do this? Well, timing is everything.

The ship, MSC Aries, is Portuguese-flagged but affiliated with Zodiac Maritime, part of the portfolio of Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer.

Tensions between Israel and Iran are unusually high – according to US intelligence, an Iranian missile attack on Israel in retaliation for the Damascus consulate attack is imminent.

The capture of the ship is unlikely to prompt a military response from the IDF, but it sends signals.

It’s a provocation from Jerusalem, but it’s also a message to Israel’s allies that Iran can cause trouble by closing the Strait of Hormuz.

In this sense, it is a projection of Iranian power and a warning that standing with Israel can have consequences.

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