Tasnim – Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi deplored the Friday attack on an Iranian oil tanker in the Red Sea near Saudi Arabia as “dangerous adventurism” and said a probe into the incident is underway.
“Examinations carried out by the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) indicate that the Iranian ship was targeted and damaged twice in about half an hour from a place near the route passed by the oil tanker,” Mousavi said in a statement on Friday.
“Fortunately, the tanker’s crew members have not suffered any injuries and the vessel is in a stable condition,” he added.
The spokesman further expressed concerns over the pollution created in the area due to the oil spill from the damaged tanker and said the responsibility for all consequences of this action, including the severe environmental pollution, lies with the perpetrators behind “this dangerous adventurism.”
“The examination of the details and factors behind this dangerous act is underway and will be announced after reaching results,” Mousavi stated.
According to media reports, the Iranian oil tanker was hit by two suspected rockets on Friday off the coast of Saudi Arabia and oil is leaking from the vessel.
The oil tanker was 60 miles (97km) from the Saudi port city of Jeddah when the incident took place, the reports said.
There was no immediate acknowledgment from Saudi Arabia about the blast.
Friday’s incident came against the backdrop of increased tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia after attacks by Yemeni forces on the kingdom’s oil facilities, with Washington and Riyadh claiming Iran was behind them.
The Yemeni Houthi Ansarullah movement immediately took credit for the attacks, but US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo swiftly accused Iran of being behind the assault, without providing any evidence. Tehran categorically rejected the allegations.