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Saudi Arabian Border Guards: Iranian tanker captain says breakage caused leak

Published: Updated:

Saudi Arabian Border Guards, the agency responsible for guarding land and sea borders of the Kingdom, said it had learned that a breakage in the front of the Iranian tanker, Sabiti, in the Red Sea had caused an oil spill.

The agency said on Saturday that it received an email from Jeddah Radio which stated that the tanker's captain sent the station a letter informing them of the cause of the oil spill.

When the agency was trying to determine whether the vessel needed any assistance, the Border Guards noticed that the vessel had shut down its tracking system and was not responding to calls.

The Iranian tanker sailed south-west of Jeddah's port at 9.7 knots (11.2 mph), according to Saudi Arabian Border Guards.

Saudi Arabia, it said, was committed to the security and safety of navigation and international maritime laws.

“After analyzing the information by the coordination centre with the aim to provide any necessary assistance... (the ship) shut off its tracking system without responding to the center’s calls,” the agency said.

On Saturday Iran vowed not to let the attack against the Sabiti go unanswered. Ali Shamkhani, secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, said clues had been uncovered as to who was behind what he called a “missile attack” on tanker, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported.

(With Reuters)