TEHRAN, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani on Monday rejected Israel's allegation that his country was involved in the seizure of a cargo ship in the Red Sea by Yemen's Houthi forces.
He made the remarks at a weekly press conference in the Iranian capital Tehran, while responding to the accusations against Iran by the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who blamed Iran for the attack on the cargo ship Sunday.
Kanaani described Israel's accusations as "invalid," stressing that Iran had reiterated that resistance forces in the region were the representatives of their own countries and peoples, and decided and acted based on their nations' interests.
He added Israel's allegations were "projection in an attempt to escape the complicated situation" it was facing.
Houthi military spokesman Yehya Sarea announced in a statement aired by the group's al-Masirah TV on Sunday "the implementation of a military operation in the Red Sea," and that "the results of which included the seizure of an Israeli ship."
The spokesman reiterated that the group would continue to carry out military operations against Israel until "its aggression against the Gaza Strip stops."
In its statement on Sunday, Netanyahu's office said the ship, "owned by a British company and operated by a Japanese firm, was hijacked with Iran guidance" by the Houthis.
There were no Israelis among the 25 crew members who were on board the ship, including Filipinos, Mexicans, Ukrainians, and Bulgarians.
The group owner of the ship, called Galaxy Leader, was listed as "Ray Car Carriers, whose parent company belongs to Abraham Rami Ungar, an Israeli businessman," Israeli media the Times of Israel quoted Maritime security company Ambrey as saying.
Israel has been carrying out attacks on Gaza over the past weeks to retaliate against the Hamas attacks on southern Israel on Oct. 7. The conflict has so far led to the deaths of over 13,000 Palestinians in Gaza, while on the Israeli side, about 1,200 people have lost their lives, the majority of whom were killed in the Hamas attacks.