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Iranian Tanker Damaged By Explosions Near Saudi Port City

TEHRAN – An explosion Friday damaged an Iranian tanker crossing the Red Sea near Saudi Arabia, causing an oil spill in the Red Sea, Iranian media and the owner of the oil tanker reported.
The National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) said in a statement that the Sabiti hull had been hit by two separate explosions about 60 miles from the Saudi coast.
The explosions were “probably caused by missile strikes”.
“The entire crew of the ship is safe and the ship is stable as well,” NITC said, adding that the people on board were trying to repair the damage and that the flow of oil into the sea had been stopped.
The semi-official ISNA news agency, citing an anonymous source and directly aware of the incident, said the ship was on fire, but the state-owned NITC said that, contrary to what has been reported, “there is no fire on board the ship is completely stable”.
The Iranian news agency Nour, close to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, said the situation was under control and no crew member had been injured.
The US Navy’s 5th Fleet, which oversees the region, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In the latest assault, Saudi Arabia’s vital oil industry was attacked by drones and cruise missiles, halving the kingdom’s production.
Yemen’s Houthi group claimed responsibility for the attacks, but a US official said they were from south-west Iran. Riyadh accused Tehran.
Iran, which allegedly supports the Houthis in the war in Yemen, has denied any involvement.
Oil prices jumped more than 2 percent as the alleged missile strike sparked renewed supply concerns, with tensions already high after last month’s attacks on two Saudi crude oil facilities.
Sabiti last turned on its tracking devices in August near the Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas. Iranian tankers routinely stop their trackers while US sanctions target the sale of Iranian crude oil.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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