A “projectile” has reportedly hit a tanker loaded with gas oil off the Oman coast, the Israeli-owned shipping firm which operates the vessel mentioned on Wednesday.
The Pacific Zircon was “hit by a projectile about 150 miles off Oman’s coast on 15 November, Singapore-based Eastern Pacific shipping mentioned in its statement. It further added that there weren’t any reports of casualties or cargo leakage.
There are some minor damages to the hull. Still, no water ingress or spillage of cargo has been noticed, said the firm owned by the Israeli billionaire named Idan Ofer — one of two sons of the famous shipping magnate Sammy Ofer, who passed away in 2011.
Bahrain-based US Fifth Fleet and UK Maritime Trade Operations also mentioned that they knew about this incident.
It was not immediately clear who launched the projectile.
Increasing tensions between Tehran and Washington in recent years have resulted in attacks on tankers in the Gulf waters that are crucial for fuel supplies.
Diplomats informed AFP that the US, France, Germany, and Britain have reportedly submitted to the UN’s nuclear watchdog, criticizing Iran for its lack of cooperation with the agency.
“The risk of attacks against energy and shipping infrastructure in the broader region is increasing due to insufficient progress in the US-Iranian nuclear diplomacy, explained Torbjorn Soltvedt, a Middle-East-based analyst associated with the Verisk Maplecroft risk intelligence firm.
A decision by Washington to impose more sanctions pressure on Tehran has also added to the increased risk of additional attacks, Soltvedt stated.
Iran has been rocked by two months of continuous mass protests — the greatest so far in years — following the passing away of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in September 2022, after Iran’s morality police had arrested her for an alleged breach of women’s dress code.
Mass protests launched against Iran’s government make it highly possible that Tehran will seek to stoke unrest in the larger region as part of its diversionary tactic, Soltvedt mentioned.
References: NDTV, Splash247, Times Of Israel