Published: Fri, October 11, 2019

Iran reports: Explosion at Iran oil tanker off Saudi Arabia

Iran reports: Explosion at Iran oil tanker off Saudi Arabia

The tanker, owned by National Iranian Oil Company, had suffered heavy damage and was leaking oil into the Red Sea some 60 miles from Jeddah, unnamed sources told Iran's Students News Agency ISNA.

The mysterious attacks on oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, Iran shooting down a U.S. military surveillance drone and other incidents across the wider Middle East followed Mr Trump's decision. According to the the ship tracking website Marine Traffic the tanker was heading to Suez.

The state-run IRNA news agency, quoting Iran's National Iranian Tanker Co., identified the stricken vessel as the Sabity.

The statement said the blasts were "probably caused by missile strikes".

All crew members of the vessel are safe and the situation of the tanker is stable, Iran's Nour news agency reported.

Yemen's Houthi group claimed responsibility for the attacks, but a USA official said they originated from southwestern Iran, while Middle East Eye reported they had been undertaken by Iranian drones which flew from southern Iraq.

The US Navy's 5th Fleet, which oversees the region, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

There was no immediate response from Saudi Arabia.

A September 14 missile and drone attack on Saudi Arabia damaged the world's biggest petroleum-processing facility and knocked out more than 5 percent of global oil supply.

Iran has denied involvement in all these incidents.

Saudi Arabia, which has been bogged down in a five-year war across its southern border in Yemen, too has apparently blamed Iran for the "unquestionably sponsored" attacks.

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