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Iran swaps out damaged Red Sea spy ship for new vessel

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Iran have brought back to port a damaged spy ship and replaced it with another vessel that will monitor the waterway.

Iran has pulled back to port a damaged spy ship in the strategically crucial Red Sea and replaced it with a new spy ship, according to satellite images seen by CNN.

Bab-el Mandeb

Satellite images showed the Iranian registered ship, the Behshad, sailing into and stopping near the Bab el-Mandeb strait, which controls access to both the Red Sea and the Suez Canal.

The Behshad is registered as a general cargo vessel but is believed to be a spy ship gathering intelligence in the strategic waterway for Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps. 

According to reports, the vessel set sail from the port of Bandar Abbas in early July, and arrived in the Bab el-Mandeb nine days later. 


A few days after the arrival of the Behshad another Iranian ship registered as a cargo vessel, the Saviz, was seen by satellite being pulled away by two tug boats. 

The Saviz had patrolled the Bab el-Mandeb strait since 2016, but was damaged in April, when a limpet mine attached to the vessel, exploded. It is widely believed that Israel was responsible for the attack.

As well as monitoring traffic in the strategic waterway, the spy ships are thought to also be engaged in help the Iran-backed Houthi rebels fighting in Yemen. 

Source: Al Araby