An Israeli-owned cargo ship docked in Dubai for repairs on Sunday after suffering an explosion believed to be caused by an Iranian attack.
The MV Helios Ray was seen in dry dock facilities at Dubai’s Port Rashid by journalists from the Associated Press.
The Bahamian-flagged vessel sustained two holes in its port side and two on its starboard side after Friday’s explosion.
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.
Emirati officials did not immediately respond to the Associated Press’ requests for comment on the vessel docking in the country.
Israel’s defense minister Benny Gantz told public broadcaster Kan on Sunday his “initial assessment” was that Iran was behind the explosion.
“Iran is looking to hit Israeli infrastructure and Israeli citizens,” Gantz said. “The location of the ship in relative close proximity to Iran raises the notion, the assessment, that it is the Iranians.”
The incident comes amid rising tension between the US and Iran over the unraveling of the 2015 nuclear deal.
It recalled a string of attacks on foreign oil tankers in the region in 2019 that the US Navy blamed on Iran. Tehran denied any role in the suspected assaults, which happened near the Strait of Hormuz, a key oil chokepoint.
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," alleging the explosion on the ship bore the hallmarks of previous Iranian attacks.
The Iran-led “Resistance Axis” of state and non-state militas was “probably” behind the explosion, according to a piece published in Iranian newspaper Kayhan on Sunday.
Kayhan is known to have close links to Iran’s supreme leader, with its editor-in-chief appointed by Ali Khamenei.