Attack on Iranian oil tanker ‘state-sponsored’: FM

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Tehran, Oct 15 (IANS) Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Tuesday said that the recent attack on the Iranian oil tanker Sabiti in the Red Sea is “state-sponsored”, state TV reported.

“The attack on the Iranian tanker was a sophisticated, state-sponsored action,” Zarif was quoted as saying by state TV.

On Monday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the incident was captured on video and “undoubtedly carried out by a government”, Xinhua reported.

Mohammad Rastad, Iran’s Ports and Shipping Organisation chief, said the vessel is currently sailing in Bab al-Mandeb Strait and will soon reach the Gulf of Aden.

It is bound for Bandar Abbas port city in the south of Iran and it is estimated to reach the Iranian port in the next nine days, he added.

Two separate explosions, possibly caused by the “missile strikes”, hit the Sabiti in the Red Sea some 60 miles (96.6 km) off Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah port city on Oct 11, causing damage to the ship’s two main tanks.

National Iranian Tanker Company subsequently dismissed media reports that the Iranian oil tanker was hit by missiles fired from Saudi Arabia.

–IANS

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