Saudi Foreign Minister Denies Kingdom’s Involvement in Attack on Iranian Tanker
Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, answering journalists’ questions on 13 October, dismissed the allegation that Riyadh could have attacked the Iranian oil tanker Sabiti in response to attacks on Saudi Aramco facilities in September, attributed by the US and Saudi Arabia to Iran, Trend reports citing Sputnik.
Al-Jubeir said that while Riyadh had indeed blamed Iran since it believes the drones were made in the Islamic Republic, it will not respond in kind. The minister added that the investigation into the Saudi Aramco attacks is still ongoing and the drone launch site has not been determined yet.
"We don’t engage in such behaviour. […] We did not engage in such behaviour at all, this is not how we operate and that’s not how we did in the past", the minister assured.
The foreign minister also indicated that the story about the attack on the Iranian tanker is imbued with conflicting reports concerning the incident and hence it's too early to "jump to conclusions".
"There are conflicting reports about this. The National Iranian Oil Company [NIOC] says nothing was struck, somebody else say something was struck, some say there was leakage, others say no leakage. So the story is not very clear yet on this issue", Al-Jubeir added.
Iranian media reported on 9 October that an explosion had set the National Iranian Oil Company's tanker on fire 100 kilometres from the Saudi port city of Jeddah, suggesting it was a missile attack by the Saudis. NIOC, the company that owns the vessel, later dismissed the claims that it had been a Saudi missile attack, but confirmed that the ship sustained damage.
Following the incident, Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei said that Tehran would give an "appropriate response" to the attack on the tanker, but first it would investigate who was behind the incident.