Iran reacts to oil tanker explosion in Jeddah port

TEHRAN, Dec. 16 (MNA) – In a reaction to the Monday explosion of an oil tanker at the Saudi Arabian port of Jeddah, the Spox of the Iranian foreign ministry said Iran rejects any act of sabotage against maritime safety and freedom of intl. trade.

Being questioned about the explosion of an oil tanker in the port of Jedda on the Red Sea, Saeed Khatibzadeh said: "The Islamic Republic of Iran rejects any act of sabotage against maritime safety and security and freedom of international trade."

Emphasizing the Islamic Republic of Iran's permanent position on maintaining regional stability and security, he expressed hope that the countries of the region would increase their efforts to strengthen cooperation in ensuring maritime security, combating piracy, and combating illicit trade to achieve permanent regional security.

Tanker BW Rhine, a Singapore-flagged oil tanker, which carried refined products, was struck by an external source while discharging at Jeddah at about 12.40 am local time on Monday, according to a statement from ship-operating firm Hafnia, which owns BW Group. 

There were no casualties and no disruptions to oil or fuel supplies but Saudi Arabia said it was struck by an explosives-laden boat in a "terrorist" assault.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) said it was aware of an explosion and warned vessels in the area to exercise "extreme caution".

Egypt, the UAE, Lebanon, Pakistan, and Djibouti, as well as several other Arab officials and institutions, have condemned the explosion.

HJ/FNA13990926000807

News Code 167262

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