Two missiles hit Iranian oil tanker near Jeddah: state media

Officials say no crew member injured; incident comes less than a month after Sept 14 attack on Saudi oil facilities

Reuters October 11, 2019

DUBAI: Two missiles struck an Iran-owned oil tanker setting it ablaze off the Saudi port of Jeddah, Iranian state TV reported.

"Two missiles hit the Iran-owned ship near the Jeddah port city of Saudi Arabia," the state TV said, quoting the National Iranian Oil
Company (NIOC).

It also clarified initial reports that two tankers were targeted, saying the explosion had damaged two tanks of the NIOC-owned Sabiti oil tanker.

The state TV later said Iran's foreign ministry had confirmed that the Iranian-owned oil tanker had been attacked in the Red Sea and was damaged.

"Those behind the attack are responsible for the consequences of this dangerous adventure, including the dangerous environmental pollution caused," Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi told state TV.

The tanker had suffered heavy damage and was leaking oil into the Red Sea some 60 miles from Jeddah, unnamed sources told Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA).

"Experts believe it was a terrorist attack," a source told ISNA.

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"None of the crew members were injured in the explosion and the situation is under control," said Iran's Nour news agency, which is close to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Tensions have been high between Iran and Saudi Arabia since an attack on the Kingdom's two oil facilities on September 14 that caused fires and damage, and shut down 5.7 million barrels per day (bpd) of production - more than 5% of global oil supply.

Yemen's Houthi group claimed responsibility for the attacks,
but a US official said they originated from southwestern Iran.

Riyadh also blamed Tehran, but Iran, which supports the Houthis in Yemen's war, has denied any involvement.


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