In the last week of July, an oil tanker managed by an Israeli company was making a routine journey from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania to Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates when it was hit by an explosive, believed to be a drone. Two men, a Romanian and a British national, were killed in the attack. The Israeli government immediately blamed Iran who has denied any part in it.
The Guardian’s Middle East correspondent, Martin Chulov, tells Nosheen Iqbal that it is the latest action in what is now a rapidly escalating ‘shadow war’ between Israel and Iran. With both countries under new leadership in recent weeks, there is an added layer of unpredictability to relations that have been tense for some time.
In the background is the Iran nuclear deal, put together under Barack Obama’s presidency and then torn up by the Trump administration. With talks restarted there is new hope for a compromise and a reinstatement of the pact. But there are also fears it could come too late – that with Iran close to a viable nuclear weapon, Israel is already weighing up military action that would move the conflict firmly out of the shadows.
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