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Iran 'Will Respond' To October Attack On Tanker 'At Appropriate Time And Place'

Abbas Araghchi, political deputy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran, in Vienna, July 28, 2019

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said on November 9 in Moscow that Iran will respond to the attack on one of its tankers off Saudi Arabia’s coast in October.

Araqchi who was taking part in the Moscow Non-Proliferation Conference, said, “we have had a lot of attacks and incidents. The latest was the attack was a month ago when an Iranian tanker was hit by two missiles and we are still investigating to see who the perpetrator was. We will respond at an appropriate time and place.”

Araqchi's remarks were covered by Iran's official government news website, IRNA.

On October 11, Iran reported one of its oil tankers was hit 100 kilometers off the Saudi coast in the Red Sea, near Jeddah. Initially, Iran reported fire on board, but the vessel continued with normal speed to the Persian Gulf. Saudi Arabia denied any involvement and Tehran has not directly accused Riyadh of behind the attack.

Addressing the issue of the 2015 nuclear agreement, Araqchi said Iran is completely without blame, as it was abiding by the accord until “one president [decided] not to like the accomplishment of his predecessor”. Now, he said, Iran is facing a policy of maximum pressure and zero oil exports.

President Donald Trump’s administration has imposed heavy sanctions on Iran, reducing its oil exports from more than two million barrels per day to under 300,000. Iran is facing a severe foreign currency shortage and a deep economic recession.

Araqchi reiterated that Iran will continue its policy of gradual reduction of commitments under the nuclear deal, especially that European partners of the agreement have not fulfilled their promises of facilitating trade with Iran.