FUJAIRAH: An Israeli-linked vessel that was attacked off Oman last week anchored off the UAE emirate of Fujairah Tuesday amid accusations Iran was behind the attack in which two crew members were killed.
Low visibility due to high humidity made it difficult to see the damage to the vessel in its mooring in the Gulf of Oman off the eastern coast of the United Arab Emirates, an AFP correspondent reported.
Tracking service MarineTraffic said the Liberian-flagged vessel reached its mooring at 2:47 am (2247 GMT Monday).
The UAE, which normalized ties with Israel last year, has not officially commented on the tanker incident.
Both the United States and Israel have said their intelligence assessments of Thursday’s incident concluded that an Iranian drone attacked the ship, managed by prominent Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer, as it sailed off Oman.
Nayef Al-Hajraf, secretary-general of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), condemned the attack and called on the international community to assume its responsibilities to ensure that they are not repeated and in a manner that preserves the movement of trade and oil supplies, as well as preserves security and stability in the region.
Al-Hajraf said the GCC strongly calls for the safety and security of international maritime transport, and rejects any impediment to the movement of ships and tankers.
The GCC also calls on all countries to abide by international conventions and norms regulating navigation and ensuring its safety, he added in a statement.
The UK’s Middle East and North Africa Minister also condemned the attack.
“I welcome the GCC secretary general joining the UK and the increasing number of international partners condemning the attack on MV Mercer Street,” Cleverly said.
“Iran’s irresponsible behavior threatens regional and international peace and security,” he added.
I welcome @GCC Secretary General joining the UK and the increasing number of international partners condemning the attack on MV Mercer Street.— James Cleverly🇬🇧 (@JamesCleverly) August 3, 2021
Iran’s irresponsible behaviour threatens regional and international peace and security.
Tehran denied the accusation and warned against “adventurism.”
A British security guard and a Romanian crew member were killed in what analysts said bore all the hallmarks of the “shadow war” between Iran and Israel, which has included attacks on shipping in waters around the Gulf.
Washington on Monday promised to lead a “collective response” against Tehran, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken calling the MV Mercer Street incident “a direct threat to freedom of navigation and commerce.”
Britain summoned the Iranian ambassador and demanded that vessels navigate freely in the oil-rich region.
Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh, meanwhile, said that Israel “must stop such baseless accusations” and called on the US and Britain to provide evidence to support their claims.
Iran “will not hesitate to protect its security and national interests, and will immediately and decisively respond to any possible adventurism,” Khatibzadeh said.