An Iranian oil tanker in the Red Sea off the coast of Saudi Arabia was hit by two missiles Friday, the country’s foreign ministry confirmed.
The attack caused an oil like that has since been plugged, Reuters reported.
The National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) said “the blasts were probably caused by missile strikes” in a statement on its website, adding that the tanker was set ablaze and has been damaged.
Suspected missile strikes hit an Iranian oil tanker off the Saudi coast on Friday, its owner said, the first Iranian vessel targeted since a spate of attacks in the Gulf Washington blamed on Tehran https://t.co/E8rMAR3MQh
— AFP news agency (@AFP) October 11, 2019
“This latest incident, if confirmed to be an act of aggression, is highly likely to be part of the wider narrative of deteriorating relations between Saudi and the U.S. and Iran,” maritime security firm Dryad Maritime said in an assessment of the attack to the Associated Press.
“It is likely that the region, having been stable for the last month, will face another period of increasing maritime threats, as the Iranian and Saudi geopolitical stand-off continues,” the assessment continued.
Oil tankers — including Saudi oil tankers — in the Red Sea region, a key oil-shipping route, have been struck with a number of attacks since May. Tehran has denied any responsibility for the attacks on Saudi tankers, and Iran’s Foreign Ministry also denied reports that the Friday attacks came from Saudi Arabia, according to Reuters.
Crude oil prices increased 2% following news of the attack, and industry sources expect shipping costs could jump, as well, according to Reuters.
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