Tehran, oct 11: An explosion destroyed an Iranian oil tanker travelling through the Red Sea near Saudi Arabia and some Iranian media reported that two missiles hit the tanker and believing it as a “terrorist attack”.
The blast hit a tanker that belongs to the National Iranian Oil Company and set the vessel ablaze 120km (60 miles) off the coast of the Saudi port city of Jeddah, Iran’s Students News Agency (ISNA) reported.
According to the Iranian news agency, SHANA, the alleged terrorist attack on the Iranian tanker is said to have been caused by missiles.
The explosion caused heavy damage and oil is spilling into the Red Sea, unnamed sources told ISNA.
“Experts believe it was a terrorist attack,” the news report said.
The tensions have been high in the Gulf as several oil tankers have been attacked and the US has alleged that in past months Iran attacked oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, which is outrightly denied by Tehran.
The attacks on oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, Iran shooting down a US military surveillance drone and other incidents have heightened tensions across the Middle East.
The drone attack on Saudi Aramco oil facilities, the state oil giant, in mid-September effectively knocked out 5% of the world’s oil supply, causing oil prices to surge by as much as 20%.
Yemen’s Houthi group claimed responsibility for the attacks, but a U.S. official said they originated from southwestern Iran. Riyadh blamed Tehran.