18:21 GMT16 April 2021
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    Earlier in February, an Israeli-owned ship, the Helios Ray, suffered an explosion in the Gulf of Oman en route to Singapore. While the cause of the incident is unclear, Israel moved to accuse Iran of being involved - an assertion that Tehran denied.

    Since late 2019, Israel has targeted at least a dozen cargo ships heading for Syria, most of them loaded with Iranian oil, according to a Thursday report by The Wall Street Journal.

    The report says that the attacks were carried out due to concerns by Tel Aviv that petroleum profits are allegedly funding Middle East extremism. Some of the strikes were reportedly targeting Iranian efforts to move other cargo around the region, including weapons, according to unnamed US officials cited in the report.

    The reported attacks did not result in the vessels sinking, but forced at least two ships to return to port in Iran.

    Earlier in March, suggestions emerged from Tel Aviv claiming that Tehran deliberately carried out "environmental terrorism" against its longtime foe after a massive oil spill in February, believed to be from the Emerald, a Libyan-owned ship said to be transporting oil from Iran to Syria. Iran faces harsh international sanctions for continuing its oil trade with Syria.

    This picture taken on February 28, 2021 shows a view of the Israeli-owned Bahamian-flagged MV Helios Ray cargo ship docked in Dubai's Mina Rashid (Port Rashid) cruise terminal. - The MV Helios Ray, a vehicle carrier, was travelling from the Saudi port of Dammam to Singapore when a blast occurred on February 25, according to the London-based Dryad Global maritime security group. (Photo by Giuseppe CACACE / AFP)
    © AFP 2021 / GIUSEPPE CACACE
    This picture taken on February 28, 2021 shows a view of the Israeli-owned Bahamian-flagged MV Helios Ray cargo ship docked in Dubai's Mina Rashid (Port Rashid) cruise terminal. - The MV Helios Ray, a vehicle carrier, was travelling from the Saudi port of Dammam to Singapore when a blast occurred on February 25, according to the London-based Dryad Global maritime security group. (Photo by Giuseppe CACACE / AFP)

    Many cast doubt on the environmental terrorism claim, particularly Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz.

    As tensions between Tel Aviv and Tehran continue to simmer, an Israeli-owned ship, the MV Helios Ray, suffered an explosion en route to Singapore while sailing through the Gulf of Oman. Israel pointed its finger at Iran, claiming without evidence that the Islamic republic was behind the blast, with Iran denying the accusations.

    Related:

    Israel Claims Iran Linked to Oil Spill Off Its Coast, Calls It a 'Terror' Incident
    Biden's White House Wants to Avoid Public Confrontation With Israel Over Iran
    Iran Warns Israel of 'Consequences' From Any 'Reckless' Actions Over ‘False Flag’ Ship Incident
    Tags:
    Syria, Wall Street Journal, ship, oil, Iran, Israel
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