Accessibility links

Breaking News

Iranian Officials Insist Foreign Powers Behind Attack On Tanker

Images released Monday showed a pair of gaping holes in the hull of an Iranian oil tanker that Tehran says was hit by two missiles off the coast of Saudi Arabia in a mysterious attack last week that threatened to ratchet up tensions.

Following remarks by Iran’s president yesterday, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said on Tuesday that the attack on Iranian oil tanker in the Red Sea was the work of “one or more” foreign powers.

Iranian officials have indirectly accused Saudi Arabia for the reported October 11 attack on Sabiti, a midsize oil tanker with a capacity of one million barrels. Riyadh has denied any involvement.

In an interview with Iranian parliament’s news website news website, Zarif said the attack on the Iranian tanker, “was a complex action, which had state sponsors and was a state operation”.

Zarif added that investigation continue, but until a definite conclusion “we will not accuse any government”.

Initially, Iranian officials and media said two missiles had struck the tanker 60 miles off the coast of Saudi Arabia, setting it on fire. Hours later they said that the vessel was stable, and it was moving under its own power. Tanker-tracking firms confirmed in the evening of October 11 that Sabiti was making 9.5 nautical miles, sailing toward the Persian Gulf.

Same day, Iran’s official IRNA news website quoting “technical experts” mentioned the possibility of a “terrorist attack”.

Some experts have also cast doubt if missiles were used or any explosion took place.

Days later, Iran released photos of the damage, which does not prove missiles were used.

But on October 12 President Hassan Rouhani also insisted that two missiles hit the tanker.

Top Iranian officials have vowed revenge for the “cowardly” attack.

The Iranian reports about the attack on the tanker come one month after a destructive missile and drone attack on major Saudi oil installation.