Iranian media say an oil tanker owned by the Islamic Republic was apparently struck by at least one missile on Friday in the Red Sea, a few dozen miles off the Saudi Arabian port of Jeddah. According to the National Iranian Tanker Company, the Sabiti was damaged but in no danger of sinking, and no one among its crew was hurt. The vessel is reportedly cruising southward. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, and all reporting on the matter has come from Iran, with sources including the Foreign Ministry. Tehran and Riyadh have been enmeshed in tensions for the past several months over attacks blamed on Iran, the most recent a September 14 strike on two Saudi oil facilities by missiles and drones. The Iranians have denied all of the claims. Iran has also been involved in something of a “war of the tankers,” harassing, stopping and even impounding several commercial vessels passing near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, and having a vessel of its own impounded, but later released, by Gibraltar.
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