An Iranian oil tanker travelling through the Red Sea near Saudi Arabia was on Friday struck by two suspected missiles, Reuters reported citing state media.
The tanker was owned by National Iranian Oil Company. “Two missiles hit the Iran-owned ship near the Jeddah port city of Saudi Arabia,” the company said.
The tanker suffered heavy damage and was leaking crude about 60 miles.
Iran’s Nour news agency, close to Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards, said the situation was under control and no crew members were injured.
There was no acknowledgement from Saudi Arabia about the blast.
The US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, which operates in the region, said it was aware of media reports about the tanker. “We don’t have any further information,” it said.
Oil prices surged by more than 2% after the attack, AFP reported. Brent crude jumped 2.3% to $60.46 a barrel, whereas West Texas Intermediate rose 2.1% to $54.69 a barrel.
They later eased back but investors continued to remain on edge.
Tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran had escalated dramatically last month after drone attacks on two Saudi oil facilities on September 14. It caused a massive disruption of oil supply and a temporary spike in prices.
Iran has denied any involvement in the strikes. Its allies in Yemen’s civil war, the Houthi movement, claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Attacks on oil tankers in Gulf waters in June and July were also blamed on Iran.
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