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. The incident is treated as a “terrorist act,” local media say.
The vessel, operated by the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), has been sailing through the Red Sea when the explosion occurred, according to Iran’s semi-official ISNA news agency. The blast was powerful enough to damage two of its reservoirs, leading to an oil spill in the area.
Local media cited some unnamed Iranian “technical experts” believe that the incident could have been caused by a “terrorist attack,” but didn’t provide any evidence backing the claim.
The tanker’s crew wasn’t hurt in the incident that took place near Jeddah, the largest port in the Red Sea that serves as a maritime gateway to Saudi Arabia.
NIOC, which once ranked second after Saudi Aramco in terms of crude oil extraction, has told state-run IRNA news agency that the vessel has been hit by what appears to be a missile attack. That report did not expand on where such an attack could come from.
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