The minister says one or more states were involved in the vessel attack

Zarif: Attack on Iranian oil tanker was state-sponsored

October 16, 2019 - 10:42

TEHRAN - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced on Tuesday that “one or more countries” had directed or facilitated the Friday morning attack on the Iranian SABITI oil tanker off the Saudi coast in the Red Sea.

Zarif also said the raid on SABITI was a “state-sponsored act”.

He added, “According to received intelligence the Friday assault on the Iranian oil tanker was a complicated move done by one or more states.”

“Investigations are underway. We are not to accuse any government until we come to definite conclusions,” he mentioned.

President Rouhani also told a press conference on Monday that “what is clear is that a regime has done it with a support of certain countries.”  Rouhani also told a press conference with the Pakistani prime minister in Tehran on Sunday that Iran has found some clues about the attack on the vessel but investigations are underway until a final conclusion is reached.

In a reaction on Saturday, Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), condemned the attack on SABITI and voiced Tehran’s firm will to give a crushing response to the evil act in international waterways.

“Banditry and wickedness in the international waterways aimed at destabilizing movement of trade vessels will not go unanswered,” the top security official underscored.

“A committee has been formed to conduct probe into the issue of the SABITI oil tanker which came under missile attacks off the Saudi coasts in the Red Sea and its findings will soon be handed over to the relevant bodies to make the required decision,” Shamkhani stated.

He added, “Main clues to the dangerous adventurism have been found following reviewing videos and gathered intelligence evidence.”

Shamkhani also pointed to destructive operations against Iranian oil tankers F Helm and Happiness in recent months in the Red Sea, saying, “Destabilizing international waterways will push the world economy towards worrying threats.”

He further stressed that planners, operators and suppliers of such provocative moves will ultimately be responsible for the consequences of their dangerous measures. 

The Iranian Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) announced in a statement posted on its official website that none of the regional maritime bodies responded to calls for help by the Iranian oil tanker SABITI when it came under missile attack.

“No regional maritime administration responded to calls for assistance by MT SABITI, and the Ports and Maritime Organization considers this in contrast and violation of international customary requirements, as well as humanitarian principles,” the PMO stated.

The PMO said it is releasing this statement to clarify the ambiguities surrounding the terrorist attack on SABITI and also disprove claims of intention to assist the vessel at the time of distress.


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