A mysterious blast onboard an Israeli-owned cargo ship near the shores of Oman has been reported last Friday, before unnamed Israeli officials accused Iran of the attack that took place several miles away from Iranian borders, in the Gulf.
‘it would not be surprising if Israel now responds either militarily or with a significant cyberattack’.— Michael Verrari (@MichaelVerrari) February 28, 2021
Mystery explosion on Israeli cargo ship in the Gulf of Oman. Fingers point to Iran.https://t.co/DCsgjYo4pk pic.twitter.com/UHboOIfwA3
Even though the alleged attack only caused limited damage without threatening the safety of the ship or its crew, the timing of the blast and its proximity to Iran have suggested the country's role in the incident.
According to the Times of Israel, the attack came only one day after a US Strike near the Syrian-Iraqi border, one that has targeted Iranian-backed militias for the first time since the inauguration of US President Joe Biden.
Just hours after U.S. strikes hit #Iran-backed militias in #Syria, an #Israel-owned cargo ship has suffered an "unexplained blast" while transiting the Gulf of Oman.— Charles Lister (@Charles_Lister) February 26, 2021
It could well be unrelated, but that hardly matters -- it still adds to rising tensions.
An explosion-hit, Israeli-owned cargo ship in the Gulf of #Oman anchored in #Dubai on Saturday morning, after a blast on Friday forced the vessel to head to the nearest port #Iran #Israel pic.twitter.com/a9qRZXAoSR— MIDEAST TODAY (@MideastToday) February 27, 2021
Analysts linked the attack on the Israeli cargo ship to the US strike, saying that it sends an alarming message to the US, which has not yet joined talks to resign the Iranian nuclear pact crafted in 2015, three years before Donald Trump decided to withdraw the US from.
Similarly, experts have noted that the attack comes only a few months before full diplomatic and commercial ties have been formally established between Israel and two Gulf states as per the Abraham Accords, which could mean that the attack is meant to target this new alliance in the region.
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