Saudi Arabia: Iranian tanker in distress turned off tracking system

RIYADH (dpa)- Saudi Arabia said on Saturday that it was ready to help an Iranian oil tanker that was damaged in the Red Sea the day before but the vessel has switched off its tracking system.
On Friday, the Iranian Oil Ministry said the tanker suffered an explosion after it was hit by two missiles near the Saudi port city of Jeddah, amid months-long tensions between Iran and the United States in the region.

A Saudi official said Saturday that the country's coastguard had received a distress call from the tanker via email that its front had been damaged, resulting in an oil leak.
"While analyzing data with the aim of offering any necessary assistance, it was found that the tanker continued its sailing ... and turned off its automatic tracking system without responding to calls," the Saudi border guard spokesman added, according to the official Saudi news agency.
So far, there has been no comment from Iran, a regional rival of Saudi Arabia.
No casualties were reported in Friday's incident.
There have been several incidents in the energy-rich region, especially in the Strait of Hormuz, which lies between the Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. The strait is one of the most important shipping routes worldwide, with almost a third of global oil exports shipped through it.
The United States has blamed Iran for various attacks on merchant ships in the area. Iran has denied involvement.

Sunday, October 13th 2019

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