Yemeni foreign minister Mohammed al-Hadhrami called on the UN Security Council to hold a special session on the Safer floating oil tank following the Iran-backed Houthi militia’s refusal to allow UN experts to conduct their five-year maintenance on the ship.
The tanker, which has been floating near the port city of Hodeidah since 1989 following an oil spill, is at risk of exploding and causing a massive environmental disaster.
Safer – often described by officials as a ticking time bomb – has not docked since 2014 and is currently in waters controlled by the Houthis.
The minister called on the council to address the situation immediately and separate the issue from Yemen’s ongoing crisis.
An environmental catastrophe would pose a more immediate threat to Yemen and the region, he added.