Iran has decided to raise the stakes and tensions in the Persian Gulf with a series of rather mysterious events involving five cargo tanker ships in and around the UAE. The obvious and more overt event was their drone attack on the Mercer Street tanker operated by Israel. In this attack, a sophisticated drone was able to pinpoint its attack on the ship's bridge and sleeping quarters. Two men were killed and others injured and the crippled ship was being escorted by American naval units to prevent another attack that might sink it. The accuracy of the attack caught the Western powers off guard, which are now more wary of Iran's true capabilities.
Now, as if that was not enough, a few days after this, another tanker 60 miles off the coast of the UAE was hijacked by Iranians and disabled. The ship, Asphalt Princess, was boarded and after a period of time, the Iranians left with undisclosed materials. But worse was still to come, another four tankers in the area suddenly sent out signals that they had lost control of their ship's steering capability. This could reflect an attack on the ship's computer control system. In any case, one ship was ordered to sail to the Iranian port of Jask, which is a new port for loading oil exports outside of the Strait of Hormuz.
To counter this, Iran also issued a statement stating that it had nothing to do with any of these events and pointed to Israeli and American assets trying to create a situation that would invite military action on their part (i.e., an excuse based on a false narrative).
What we do know is that a sophisticated drone precisely hit a cargo tanker at specific areas. We also know that a US aircraft flying in the area of the seized Asphalt Princess witnessed men in Iranian uniforms on the ship.
While all fingers do point towards Iran or its proxies, uncertainty remains, as to who disabled the four other tankers rendering them useless and why they were targeted. Certainly, with CIA black ops and such, either the US or Israel could set up a scenario to blame Iran to support an attack, as Iran suggested. However, most others feel that Iran is trying to bait the Israelis and the US to take military action in order for them to do the same, claiming self defense. But the actions show that Iran seems to have much more capability than previously thought with their precise drone targeting and cyber warfare to disable electronic computer systems onboard a tanker from a distance.
In small steps, Iran is revealing what it can really do with Russian and Chinese technologies.