On May 12, the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that four ships were subject to “sabotage attacks” off the coast of Fujairah in UAE territorial waters. S
The Ministry further said acts of sabotage on civilian vessels and threatening the safety and lives of those on board “is a serious development”.
Reuters said shipping sources identified the Saudi vessels as the crude carrier tanker Amjad and crude tanker Al Marzoqahm bother owned by Bahri, Saudi’s national shipping carrier.
The two other ships have been identified as the A Michel – registered in Sharjah – and the Andrea Victory from Bergen in Norway.
Norwegian-registered product tanker was also damaged in an incident, ship management company Thome Ship Management said.
“The master of MT Andrea Victory reported the crew were unharmed but there was a hole in the hull area of the aft peak tank. The ship is not in any danger of sinking,” the company said in a statement.
Authorities in Fujairah earlier have said operations at the port were continuing as normal.
A US official told Sky News Arabia that preliminary estimations say Iran might be involved in the attack.
Iran, which entered into an incessant war of words with the United States because of sanctions and the US military presence in the region is squirming to distance itself from the attack; Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said the incidents in the Sea of Oman are alarming and regrettable and called for a probe into the attacks.
Meanwhile, British foreign minister Jeremy Hunt called for “a period of calm.”
“We are very worried about the risk of a conflict happening by accident with an escalation that is unintended on either side but ends with some kind of conflict,” he said as he arrived for a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels
The UAE has ordered a probe into the sabotage operation, with Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr. Anwar Gargash saying the investigation was being conducted professionally and all facts will be uncovered.