DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — An Israeli-owned cargo ship that suffered a mysterious explosion in the Gulf of Oman came to Dubai’s port for repairs Sunday, days after the blast that revived safety concerns in Mideast waterways amid heightened tensions with Iran.
Connected Press journalists noticed the hulking Israeli-owned MV Helios Ray sitting at dry dock products and companies at Dubai’s Port Rashid. Though the crew turned into unharmed in the blast, the vessel sustained two holes on its port side and two on its starboard side lawful above the waterline, according to American defense officials.
It remains unclear what brought about the blast, nonetheless the incident comes amid sharply rising tension between the U.S. and Iran over its unraveling 2015 nuclear deal. Iran has sought to force President Joe Biden’s administration to grant the sanctions relief it acquired beneath the accord with world powers that damaged-down President Donald Trump abandoned.
From the shore, AP journalists would possibly now not instantly watch injure to the vessel. The dock blocked the explore of the vessel’s starboard side all the manner down to the waterline and the port side would possibly easiest be seen from a distance. The ship turned into anchored advance Dubai’s storied floating hotel, the Queen Elizabeth 2. An Emirati waft guard vessel turned into seen sailing behind the ship, with Dubai police and Emirati armed forces vehicles parked within sight.
Emirati officials didn’t instantly acknowledge to requests for touch upon the vessel docking in the country.
Friday’s blast on the ship, a Bahamian-flagged roll-on, roll-off automobile cargo vessel, recalled a string of assaults on international oil tankers in 2019 that the U.S. Navy blamed on Iran. Tehran denied any aim in the suspected assaults, which took space advance the Strait of Hormuz, a key oil chokepoint.
Israeli ambassador to the U.S. and U.N., Gilad Erdan, instructed Israel’s Army Radio on Sunday that “it turned into no secret that the Iranians are trying to hurt Israeli targets,” alleging the explosion on the ship bore the hallmarks of previous Iranian assaults.
In the interim on Sunday, Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for firing a ballistic missile and nine bomb-encumbered drones at “sensitive sites” in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh the evening sooner than. The neighborhood’s armed forces spokesman Yahia Sarei added that but any other six explosive drones focused “armed forces positions” in the southwestern cities of Abha and Khamis Mushait. The Saudi interception of the missile urged an obvious explosion over Riyadh that startled residents and scattered shell debris, without causing casualties.
The Helios Ray had discharged vehicles at diverse ports in the Persian Gulf sooner than making its skill out of the Middle East toward Singapore. The blast hit as the ship turned into sailing from the Saudi port Dammam out of the Gulf of Oman, forcing it to flip to Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, for inspection.
Iranian authorities haven’t publicly commented on the ship. The country’s laborious-line Kayhan day-after-day, whose editor-in-chief turned into appointed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, alleged the Helios Ray turned into “presumably” on an “espionage” mission in the whine, without offering any proof to reinforce the whisper. The Sunday file speculated the ship would possibly additionally were “trapped in an ambush by a department of resistance axis,” referring to Iranian proxies in the whine.
Iran also has blamed Israel for a fresh sequence of assaults, including a mysterious explosion final summer season that destroyed an developed centrifuge assembly plant at its Natanz nuclear facility and the killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a prime Iranian scientist who essentially based the Islamic Republic’s armed forces nuclear program two decades ago.
Iran’s repeated vows to avenge Fakhrizadeh’s killing beget raised alarms in Israel, in particular as the Gulf sees an increase in Israeli traffic following the country’s normalization affords with the UAE and Bahrain.
Connected Press writers Jon Gambrell and Malak Harb in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Ilan Ben Zion in Jerusalem and Samy Magdy in Cairo contributed to this file.