Cargo ship attacked off Yemen under unclear circumstances

Cargo ship attacked off Yemen under unclear circumstances
The Gulf of Aden is a crucial route for global trade, and has seen a number of Somali pirate attacks that have mostly stopped in recent years. (File/AFP)
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Updated 05 December 2020

Cargo ship attacked off Yemen under unclear circumstances

Cargo ship attacked off Yemen under unclear circumstances
  • The ship ended up off the small port city of Nishtun in Yemen’s far east after coming under attack early Saturday morning
  • The eastern part of Yemen where the ship was attacked is held by the country’s internationally recognized government

DUBAI: A cargo ship traveling past Yemen in the Gulf of Aden came under attack under unclear circumstances, maritime authorities said Saturday.
The Gulf of Aden is a crucial route for global trade, and has seen a number of Somali pirate attacks that have mostly stopped in recent years.
The ship ended up off the small port city of Nishtun in Yemen’s far east after coming under attack early Saturday morning, according to an alert from the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Organization that is overseen by Britain’s Royal Navy.
“Vessel and crew are safe,” the organization said.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.
The British Defense Ministry declined to elaborate on the attack. The US Navy’s Bahrain-based 5th Fleet, which patrols Mideast waterways, said it was aware of the incident, but declined to comment further.
Ambrey Intelligence, a British private maritime intelligence firm, identified the vessel attacked as the MV Hasan, a cargo ship flagged out of Sierra Leone that had been on its way to Salalah, Oman.
The Hasan is registered to Oasis Shipping Co., a Marshall Islands-registered firm with an address linking it to a Beirut address for Barhoum Maritime Co. A similarly named company also operates out of Tartous, Syria. The company could not be immediately reached for comment.
The eastern part of Yemen where the ship was attacked is held by the country’s internationally recognized government, amid a yearslong civil war.
In late November, a mine in the Red Sea off Saudi Arabia’s coast near Yemen exploded and damaged an oil tanker. Suspicion immediately fell on Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, who hold the capital, Sanaa, and have been identified by United Nations experts as using seamines in the conflict.


European powers warn Iran over uranium metal plans

European powers warn Iran over uranium metal plans
Updated 4 min 5 sec ago

European powers warn Iran over uranium metal plans

European powers warn Iran over uranium metal plans
  • The production of uranium metal has potentially grave military implications: Britain, France and Germany
  • Iran had signed up to a 15-year ban on "producing or acquiring plutonium or uranium metals or their alloys" under the JCPOA

BERLIN: European powers on Saturday voiced deep concern over Iran's plans to produce uranium metal, warning that Tehran has "no credible civilian use" for the element.
"The production of uranium metal has potentially grave military implications," said the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany in a joint statement.
Iran had signed up to a 15-year ban on "producing or acquiring plutonium or uranium metals or their alloys" under the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) signed in 2015 with world powers.
"We strongly urge Iran to halt this activity, and return to compliance with its JCPoA commitments without further delay if it is serious about preserving the deal," said the ministers.
Their call came after Iran told the UN nuclear watchdog on Wednesday that it was advancing research on uranium metal production, saying it is aimed at providing advanced fuel for a research reactor in Tehran.
The landmark 2015 deal agreed between Iran and the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany to curb Tehran's nuclear ambitions has been largely in tatters since President Donald Trump withdrew from it in 2018 and reimposed harsh sanctions.
The Iranian government has signalled a readiness to engage with US President-elect Joe Biden, who takes office on January 20 and who has expressed willingness to return to diplomacy with Tehran.