October 11, 2019 Missile attacks causing two separate explosions on Friday damaged an Iranian oil tanker near the Saudi port of Jeddah. There is no official word yet on who was behind the attacks.
The oil tanker, owned by the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) was 60 miles from the Saudi port of Jeddah when the incident occurred, damaging its body. According to a report by Iran’s state run news, the explosions caused oil to leak into the Red Sea.
An initial Press TV report quoted Saheb Sadegh, the head of the National Iranian Tanker Company as saying two missiles were “possibly” fired from Saudi soil. The NITC later withdrew the claim in a statement.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry confirmed the Iranian-owned oil tanker, Sabiti was attacked on Friday. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi called the attacks a dangerous adventure.
“Those behind the attack are responsible for the consequences of this dangerous adventure, including the dangerous environmental pollution caused.”
In addition to the Saudi government, several world powers, including the U.S., France and Britain blamed a series of unprecedented drone and missile attacks on Saudi oil fields in mid-September on Iran.
Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attacks, but U.S. military and Saudi government investigations found the attacks were carried out with Iranian weapons and were not launched from Yemen.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has accused Iranian leaders of being “bloodthirsty” and eager for war. Pompeo was quick to blame Iran for the attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities, calling it an “act of war.”
Iran has categorically denied any involvement in the Saudi attack. Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif warned that any U.S. or Saudi military strike on Iran would result in “all out war.”