Sky News – New pictures have emerged showing damage to an Iranian tanker allegedly struck by rockets near the Saudi port city of Jeddah.
Oil leaked into the Red Sea from the Sabiti vessel after the explosion on Friday, which Iranian media reported was likely caused by a missile attack.
The images were released on Monday by the Iranian Oil Ministry, while Saudi-owned satellite news channel Al Arabiya broadcast footage of what appeared to be an oil slick behind the Sabiti.
Although the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) reported the tanker as stable and the crew unharmed, the incident was condemned by the national foreign ministry as a “dangerous adventure”.
Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi told Iranian state TV: “Those behind the attack are responsible for the consequences of this dangerous adventure, including the dangerous environmental pollution caused.”
The incident forced the tanker to change its route, diverting from its original destination of Fujairah in the UAE.
Saudi Arabia has not commented on the allegation that the oil tanker was deliberately attacked and there have not yet been any claims of responsibility.
It will likely ratchet up tensions between long-time regional foes Tehran and Riyadh, and is the latest in an increasingly long line of attacks and stand-offs in the Gulf.
Back in June, Iran was accused by the UK and US of attacking two oil tankers after footage emerged allegedly showing the Iranian Revolutionary Guard removing an unexploded limpet mine from one of the vessels.
Tehran denied any involvement in the incident, which was followed by the seizure of a British-flagged oil tanker over alleged marine violations.
Iran seized the Stena Impero in an apparent retaliation to British Royal Marines detaining one of its own oil tankers, named the Adrian Darya-1, off the coast of Gibraltar two weeks before.
The tanker – formerly known as Grace 1 – was feared to be transporting oil to Syria in a breach of international sanctions, but was later released despite US protests and subsequently spotted near a port in Syria.
Following the summer of disputes, Saudi oil facilities were targeted by an air strike in September.
Houthi rebels fighting a Saudi-led coalition in Yemen said they were behind the attack, which impacted around 5% of global energy supplies, but Riyadh has blamed it on Tehran.