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Iran: Contradictory remarks on an “attack” targeting an oil tanker in the Red Sea

Iran’s SABITI oil tanker
Iran’s SABITI oil tanker

Reporting by PMOI/MEK

Iran, October 12, 2019—Following claims made by Iranian regime state media on Friday, October 11, regarding the SABITI oil tanker being targeted by “two missiles” fired from Saudi Arabia, various entities belonging to the regime itself went on to issue contradictory remarks in this regard, raising even more suspicions over the entire subject. Iranian regime outlets went as far as to claim the tanker was the target of a “terrorist attack,” according to the Fars news agency, affiliated to the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).

A few hours later, the regime’s National Iranian Oil Company denied missiles were fired from Saudi soil to targets this oil tanker in the Red Sea. IRNA, the Iranian regime’s official news agency, wrote the following: “This oil tanker suffered an incident this morning while located 60 miles from the Jeddah port of Saudi Arabia. Although some say this incident could have been a terrorist attack, yet there was no missile fired towards this oil tanker from Saudi oil.”

On the other hand, the spokesman of the Iranian regime’s Foreign Ministry made remarks portraying the attack scenario.

“Various evaluations indicate that the Iranian ship was targeted twice in a span of half an hour from an area near the passing corridor of this oil tanker located in the eastern section of the Red Sea. The ship has been damaged. The ship crew are all safe and sound, and the vessel is stable… In the past few months there have been other destructive measures against [Iranian] oil tankers in the Red Sea. Studies continue on the parties involved in these actions,” Abbas Mousavi said.

The Associated Press reported the images published by Iran’s Oil Ministry show no visible damage on the ship. However, the images do not show the ship’s sides. Satellite images from the region do not show any visible smoke clouds.

One official of the regime’s NIOC told the state-run ISNA news agency, “The oil tanker remains in the Red Sea. However, it will be changing its path and no country has offered no assistance.”