A Cargo Ship Purchased By Israel, Docks In Dubai After a Curious explode the Gulf of Oman came to Dubai’s port for repairs on Sunday, days after the blast that revived security concerns in Mideast waterways amid heightened tensions with Iran.
Associated Press journalists saw the hulking Israeli-owned MV Helios Ray sitting at dry dock facilities at Dubai’s Port Rashid. According to American defense officials, although there is no harm to the crew, the vessel sustained two holes on its port side and two on its starboard side just above the waterline.
It remains unclear what caused the blast, but the incident comes amid sharply rising tension between the US and Iran over its unraveling 2015 nuclear deal.
Iran has sought to pressure President Joe Biden’s administration to grant the sanctions relief it received under the accord with world powers that former President Donald Trump abandoned.
From afar, Associated Press journalists could not immediately see any harm on the port or starboard sides of the ship, although the dock blocked the view down to the waterline.
The cargo ship was standing near Dubai’s storied floating hotel, Queen Elizabeth 2. An Emirati coast guard vessel was seen sailing behind the ship, with Dubai police and Emirati armed forces vehicles parked nearby.
Israeli ambassador to the US and UN, Gilad Erdan, told Israel’s Army Radio on Sunday that “it was no secret that the Iranians are trying to harm Israeli targets” and alleged the explosion on the ship bore the hallmarks of other Iranian attacks.
The Helios Ray had discharged cars at various ports in the Persian Gulf before making its way out of the Middle East toward Singapore. The blast hit as the ship was sailing from the Saudi port Dammam out of the Gulf of Oman, forcing it to turn to Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, for inspection.