An Israeli-owned cargo ship has been rocked by an explosion today in the Gulf of Oman as speculation grows that Iran may have been behind the incident.
No injuries have been reported aboard the vessel, reportedly named MV Helios Ray, and it is heading towards the nearest port.
The Gulf of Oman, one of the world’s strategic shipping lanes, has been the scene of a series of explosions in recent years which the United States Navy blamed on Iran.
According to satellite-tracking data from MarineTraffic.com, the Helios Ray had been entering the Arabian Sea at 06:00 GMT on Friday when it suddenly changed course back toward the Strait of Hormuz.
Dryad Global, a maritime intelligence firm, said it was very possible the blast stemmed from “asymmetric activity by Iranian military”. The US Navy’s Bahrain-based 5th Fleet is reportedly “aware and monitoring” the situation.
The blast comes as tensions between the United States and Iran appear to be increasing following increased Iranian non-compliance with the faltering JCPOA nuclear deal and after President Biden launched an airstrike against Iranian-backed forces in Syria in response to an Iranian attack on a U.S. airbase in Iraq.