Iran denies tanker attacked in Red Sea keeps leaking
Iran’s state-run operator of oil tankers has rejected media reports suggesting a ship that was attacked last week in the Red Sea and off the coast of Saudi Arabia keeps leaking while on its way back home.
According to Press TV, the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) said on Tuesday that an oil leak from Iranian ship MT Sabiti that began following two rocket attacks on the tanker while it was sailing off the coast of Jeddah on October 11 had been stopped within the very early hours of the incident.
“Through efforts and technical measures adopted and listing (leaning) of the ship, the holes created through rocket strike were positioned above the surface of water and thus the leak was fully stopped,” said NITC in a statement.
It said that Sabiti has seen no further leaks within the past three days, rejecting media reports and claims that the ship is causing environmental pollution while it is on its way back to Iran.
The NITC said the Iranian tanker has already sailed past the Bab al-Mandeb strait while in a completely balanced and safe condition, adding that it will enter the Persian Gulf waters very soon.
Iran has yet to announce who was behind two attacks on Sabiti. Officials have said, however, that they will not let the attacks go unanswered, saying a response would come following thorough examination of facts in Tehran.
President Hassan Rouhani said in a news conference on Monday that Iran was certain that a government had been behind the attacks while warning that there would be consequences for the perpetrators.