Tehran, March 2 : Iranian authorities have accused Israel of "inducing panic" in the Persian Gulf while rejecting the country's claim that Tehran was involved in a blast aboard an Israel-owned ship last week.
"We strongly reject this accusation," Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told a weekly press briefing on Monday.
He noted that Israel is "the basis of all insecurity and instability in the region".
Earlier Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Iran for an explosion aboard the MV Helios Ray, a Bahamian-flagged vehicle-carrier ship, in the Sea of Oman.
The ship was sailing out of the Middle East to Singapore on February 26.
The Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman, Khatibzadeh said, are Iran's "immediate security areas", and Tehran "will not allow" Israel to "induce panic" in the region.