Explosion sets ablaze Iranian oil tanker near Saudi port

Clay Curtis
October 11, 2019

IRIB News has reported that the oil tanker was hit by an explosion.

A tanker belonging to Iran's government-owned oil corporation has reportedly been hit by a blast and caught fire in the Red Sea, 60 miles from Saudi Arabian shores.

Mysterious attacks on oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, Iran shooting down a U.S. military surveillance drone, and other incidents across the Middle East followed President Donald Trump's decision.

"All the ship's crew are safe and the ship is stable too", NITC said, adding those on board were trying to fix the damage.

"There is no fire aboard the ship and the ship is completely stable", NIOC added.

All reports said the explosion happened on Friday off the coast of Jiddah on the Red Sea.

"Experts believe it was a terrorist attack", a source told ISNA.

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The blast caused heavy damages to the tanker, according to the semiofficial ISNA news agency.

The U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, which oversees the region, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Associated Press.

Tensions have been high between regional foes Iran and Saudi Arabia since an attack on the Kingdom's two oil facilities on September 14 that caused fires and damage and shutting down 5.7 million barrels per day (bpd) of production - more than 5% of global oil supply.

The attack was claimed by Yemen's Iran-backed Shi'ite Huthi rebels, but Saudi Arabia, the United States, and Western European countries have blamed Iran.

The mysterious attacks on oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, Iran shooting down a USA military surveillance drone and other incidents across the wider Middle East followed Trump's decision.

Iran denied involvement in all the incidents.

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