Tanker attacked off Oman arrives at UAE anchorage

Fujairah (United Arab Emirates) (AFP) –


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 normalised 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.

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.