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Israeli-owned ship docked in Dubai after mysterious explosion



Dubai, United Arab Emirates (Associated Press)-An Israeli-owned cargo ship mysteriously exploded in the Gulf of Oman. It came to Dubai Port on Sunday for repairs. A few days later, the explosion revived security issues in the Middle East waterways and increased tensions with Iran. .

The Associated Press reporter saw the clumsy Israeli MV Helios Ray sitting in the dry dock facility in Dubai Port Rashid. According to US defense officials, although the crew was not injured in the explosion, the ship had two holes on the port and starboard sides above the waterline.

It is not clear what caused the explosion, but the incident occurred at a time when tensions between the United States and Iran over its unreached 201

5 nuclear agreement rose sharply. Iran is trying to pressure the administration of President Joe Biden to grant sanctions relief based on the world power agreement that former President Donald Trump gave up.

From the shore, the Associated Press reporter could not immediately see the damage to the ship. The pier blocks the sight of the ship’s starboard side down to the waterline, and the port side can only be seen from a distance. The blue and white boat is moored near Dubai’s legendary floating hotel Queen Elizabeth 2. Seeing a UAE Coast Guard vessel sailing behind the ship, Dubai Police and UAE Armed Forces vehicles parked nearby.

UAE officials did not respond to requests for comment about ships moored in the country.

Friday’s explosion on the ship was a ro-ro cargo ship flying the Bahamas flag. Recalling the US Navy’s series of attacks on foreign tankers in 2019, the US Navy blamed Iran for this. Tehran denied any role in the possible attack, which took place near the Strait of Hormuz, a key oil choke point.

Israeli officials said on Sunday that Iran was to blame for the ship’s explosion. Israeli Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi (Aviv Kochavi) indirectly referred to this incident in a speech by an army intelligence agency, accusing Iran of “actions against civilian targets.”

He said: “Just this past weekend, we received a reminder from Iran, one of the biggest threats in the region, and we also received a reminder that Iran not only represents a nuclear threat.”

Gilad Erdan, Israel’s ambassador to the United States and the United Nations, told the Israeli Army Radio, “It’s no secret that Iranians are trying to harm Israeli targets.” He alleged that the ship’s explosion was a sign of Iran’s previous attack. .

At the same time, on Sunday, the Houthi rebels backed by Iran in Yemen claimed responsibility for launching ballistic missiles and nine bomb-equipped drones at “sensitive locations” in the Saudi capital Riyadh. The organization’s military spokesperson, Yahia Sarei, added that six other explosive drones were aimed at “military positions” in the southwestern cities of Abha and Khamis Mushait. Saudi Arabia’s interception of missiles caused a clear explosion over Riyadh, shocking residents and spreading shell fragments without causing casualties.

Before sailing from the Middle East to Singapore, Helios Ray had unloaded cargo at various ports in the Persian Gulf. The ship sailed out of the Gulf of Oman from the Saudi port of Dammam, forcing it to turn to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates for inspection.

The Iranian authorities have not publicly commented on the ship. The country’s tough daily Kayhan was appointed by the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who claimed that Helios Ray was “probably” on a “spy” mission in the area, but did not provide Any evidence supports this claim. Sunday’s report speculated that the ship might be “trapped in an ambush by a branch of the Resistance Axis,” referring to Iranian agents in the area.

Iran also blamed Israel for a series of recent attacks, including a mysterious explosion last summer that destroyed the advanced centrifuge assembly plant at its Natanz nuclear facility and killed the top Iranian scientist who established the Islamic Republic’s military nuclear program. Mohamed Fakhrizadeh (Mohsen Fakhrizadeh). Decades ago.

Iran has repeatedly vowed to avenge the killing of Fakhrizadeh, which has aroused alarm in Israel, especially after the Gulf region saw the country’s normal transactions with the UAE and Bahrain, Israel’s traffic has increased.

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Associated Press reporter Jon Gambrell and Malak Harb in the United Arab Emirates, Ilan Ben Zion in Jerusalem and Sami Madi in Cairo ( Samy Magdy contributed to this report.


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