Iran carefully investigating oil tanker explosions: govt. spox

TEHRAN, Oct. 12 (MNA) – Iranian Government Spokesman Ali Rabiei says Tehran is thoroughly investigating the Friday explosions on an Iranian oil tanker in the Red Sea with no haste.

In a note released on Saturday, Rabiei wrote that at a time when the region is in dire need of peace as a remedy to the longstanding conflicts and tensions, there still are many who do not tolerate conciliation among nations and seize every opportunity to aggravate the situation to secure their own existence.

“The most recent case of such vicious acts was the attack on the Iranian oil tanker in the Red Sea,” he added.

The spokesman noted that the government is thoroughly investigating the incident without any haste.

“The appropriate response will be given to the perpetrators of this cowardly attack, but we will wait till all the aspects of this plot are revealed,” Rabiei said.

Elsewhere in his note, Rabiei criticized the US and those who accused Iran of disrupting free shipping in the Persian Gulf and put the blame on Iran for last month attacks on Saudi oil facilities, saying, “I wonder whether they defend free shipping in the international waters again and condemn the attacks on the Iranian tanker!”

Two separate explosions, possibly caused by missile attacks, hit an Iranian oil tanker operated by the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) near the Saudi port city of Jeddah, in what Tehran calls a "dangerous adventure".

The incident took place some 60 miles from Jeddah early Friday, according to a statement by the NITC.

The explosions have hit the vessel’s hull, causing heavy damages to the vessel’s two main tanks, which has resulted in an oil spill in the Red Sea. The spill is currently stopped.

It said the crew members are currently safe and none of them has been harmed in the explosions. The tanker is headed back to the Persian Gulf.

MNA/FNA13980720000358

News Code 151103

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