After the attack on an Iranian oil tanker off the coast of Saudi Arabia, Tehran has warned of consequences. "Piracy and malice in international waters" would "not remain unanswered," said the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, Ali Schamchani, according to the semi-state news agency Insa. There are already "first indications" on the author of the attack, said Schamchani accordingly.
The oil tanker "Sabiti" had been shaken by two explosions on Friday according to official data in front of the Saudi Arabian port of Jeddah. Reports that the attacks were carried out from Saudi Arabia were rejected by the National Iranian Tanker Company. Iranian state television had initially spoken of a possible "terrorist attack".
Due to the damage to the tanker's hull, oil had run into the Red Sea. Meanwhile, the crew repaired the damage, said the state-owned tanker company.
The Red Sea, which separates Saudi Arabia from Egypt, Sudan and the Horn of Africa, is an important shipping route. To the north, the Suez Canal flows into the sea, bounded on the south by Bab al-Mandab. This strait, like the Strait of Hormuz, is an important strategic bottleneck for international maritime trade and oil transport from the Persian Gulf across the Arabian and Red Seas to the Mediterranean.
For months, a dispute has been smoldering between Iran and several western states, especially the US, which is also being fought on international shipping lanes. There were several incidents, especially in the Strait of Hormuz, which lies between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. It is one of the most important shipping routes worldwide. Almost a third of global oil exports are shipped through the straits. The US blamed Iran for various attacks on merchant ships in the sea area. Iran denies this vehemently.