Iranian Oil Tanker in Red Sea Not on Fire: NITC
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) rejected as untrue reports claiming that an oil tanker hit by explosions in the Red Sea near Saudi Arabia on Friday has been on fire, saying the situation of the vessel is stable and its crew members are safe.
“Contrary to some published reports, there is no fire aboard the ship and it is completely stable,” the public relations department of the NITC said in a statement on Friday.
“Fortunately all the crew members (of the vessel) are in a safe and sound condition,” the statement read.
According to media reports, the Iranian oil tanker was hit by two suspected rockets on Friday off the coast of Saudi Arabia and oil is leaking from the vessel.
The oil tanker was 60 miles (97km) from the Saudi port city of Jeddah when the incident took place, the reports said.
There was no immediate acknowledgment from Saudi Arabia about the blast.
Friday’s incident came against the backdrop of increased tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia after attacks by Yemeni forces on the kingdom’s oil facilities, with Washington and Riyadh claiming Iran was behind them.
The Yemeni Houthi Ansarullah movement immediately took credit for the attacks, but US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo swiftly accused Iran of being behind the assault, without providing any evidence. Tehran categorically rejected the allegations.