Tuesday, 22 October, 2019

Iran says explosion sets oil tanker on fire near Saudi port city

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Steven Clarke | 11 October, 2019, 10:42

Yemen's Iran-sponsored Houthi terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attacks on the Saudi oil fields, but a United States official insist the attacks originated in south-western Iran.

The vessel, operated by the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), has been sailing through the Red Sea when the explosion occurred, according to Iran's semi-official ISNA news agency.

Iran's national tanker company (NITC) says the fire has been put out and the oil spillage reduced to a minimum, Iranian news site Iran Front Page reports.

State television reported that the explosion damaged two storerooms.

"None of the crew members were injured at the explosion".

There was no immediate word from Saudi Arabia on the reported attack.

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China's Ministry of Commerce did not immediately respond to fax about the high-level talks. Then, in August, the Trump administration formally declared China a currency manipulator.

"We believe that considering the current conditions in the region, the Saudis have come to the conclusion that the war can not decide the fate".

Oil facilities and tankers have become a flash point of the ongoing tensions in this Middle East.

Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi movement had claimed responsibility for the assault on Saudi oil facilities, but Saudi Arabia rejected that claim.

The reported explosion comes after the U.S. has alleged that in past months Iran attacked oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, something denied by Tehran.

Saudi Arabia, which is locked in several proxy wars in the region with arch foe Iran, has blamed Tehran for attacks on Saudi oil plants on September 14, a charge Iran denies. Riyadh blamed Tehran. Iran, which supports the Houthis in Yemens war, has denied any involvement.

Oil attacks: What's next for Saudi Aramco and world oil markets?

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