Following the attack on two Saudi Arabian oil factories, an Iranian oil tanker is said to have become the target of an attack. The state news agencies speak of an explosion. The operator denies a fire aboard the ship, but admits that oil is at sea.
An explosion on an Iranian oil tanker has occurred in the Red Sea off Saudi Arabia, according to Iran's oil ministry. According to the ministry, the ship was hit 60 nautical miles (about 110 kilometers) from the Saudi Arabian port of Jeddah by two missiles. However, there were no casualties and all crew members were well, according to the Ministry, according to the state news agency Irna.
The damage is low and the crew have the ship back under control, they said. However, experts continue to investigate the cause of the explosion. The operator denied media reports stating that it was burning aboard the tanker. "There is no fire aboard the ship and the ship is completely stable." But it runs out of oil. To the alleged rocket attack, the Ministry of Oil announced no further details. In social media circulated photos of an oil tanker from which rises a black column of smoke.
It was unclear at first which ship it was. Irna named the oil tanker in the report "Sabiti". However, the "Marine Traffic" Internet portal, which specializes in shipping, said that "Sabiti" was last seen in the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas.
Since mid-August, the ship has not communicated its current location and apparently shut down the system. In addition, there were speculations as to whether it could be the Iranian-flagged oil tanker "Sinopa". According to "Marine Traffic" this was the last in the Red Sea off the coast of Jeddah in a northwestern direction. At the time of the announcement of the Ministry of Oil, "Sinopa" had also not sent any current location for about ten hours.
The Red Sea, which separates Saudi Arabia from Egypt, Sudan and the Horn of Africa, is an important shipping route. To the north, the Suez Canal flows into the sea, bounded on the south by Bab al-Mandab. This strait, like the Strait of Hormuz, is an important strategic bottleneck for international maritime trade and oil transport from the Persian Gulf across the Arabian and Red Seas into the Mediterranean.
Iran has been smoldering for several months Controversy, especially with the US, which is also carried out on international shipping routes. There were several incidents, especially in the Strait of Hormuz, which lies between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. It is one of the most important shipping routes worldwide. Almost a third of global oil exports are shipped through the straits. The US blamed Iran for various attacks on merchant ships in the sea area. Iran denies this vehemently.