TEHRAN (Basirat) :Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani deplored an attack on an Iranian oil tanker in the Red Sea near Saudi Arabia on Friday and pledged that such “evil deeds” will not go unanswered.
“Piracy and evil deeds in international waterways, which are carried out with the aim of making commercial ships’ sailing insecure, will not go unanswered,” Shamkhani said on Saturday.
“A special committee has been established to investigate the attack on the SABITI vessel, which was targeted by two missiles near the coast of Saudi Arabia in the Red Sea,” he said.
The top security official added that a report will be submitted to the responsible authorities so that a decision on the issue would be made.
“By reviewing existing video images and the gathered information and evidence, the main clues about (those behind) this dangerous adventurism have been found,” he said.
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 blasts.
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. Iran denies any involvement in the attacks.
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.