İrem UZUN -TDO- An explosion damaged an Iranian oil tanker traveling through the Red Sea near Saudi Arabia on Friday, causing oil to leak into the Red Sea, Iranian media and the tanker’s owner have reported.
According to reports, the vessel from Iran's national oil company (NOIC), was 60 miles (97km) from the Saudi port city of Jeddah when the incident took place. The ship's two main storage tanks were said to be damaged and caused an oil spill into the Red Sea. NOIC claimed the vessel was hit by missiles but did not provide evidence. The semi-official ISNA News Agency quoted an anonymous source with direct knowledge of the incident and said the vessel was on fire, but the state-owned NOIC said that contrary to reports, “there is no fire aboard the ship and the ship is completely stable”. Nour News Agency, close to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, said the situation was under control and no crew members were injured.
The incident came amid heightened tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Last month, 18 drones and seven cruise missiles hit a major oil field and processing facility in Saudi Arabia, which blamed Iran for the attack. Iran denied involvement in all the incidents.