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article imageNew photos indicate Iranian tanker has 2 large holes in the hull

By Ken Hanly     Oct 16, 2019 in World
New photos released by Iran clearly show that its oil tanker the Sabiti was damaged as they show large holes in the hull just above the water line.
The damage
A photo showing clearly two large holes in the hull of the Sabiti can be found here.
Iran claims that the Sabiti was hit twice in the Red Sea off the coast of western Saudi Arabia. The incident is said to have taken place on October 11th. It is still not known who is responsible for the attack.
Iran's national oil company claims the explosions last week on the Sabiti were likely the result of missile impacts. The images that were released by the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) dated October 13 show two large holes in the hull just above the water line. The NITC noted that the attack caused oil to spill into the Red Sea. The oil slick behind the vessel can be seen in satellite photos.
Some are sceptical that the holes were caused by missiles
Dr. Sidharth Kaushai, a research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in the UK told BBC that the holes show the tanker was probably attacked but it was not clear what with. Kaushai said the holes appeared like those left by a limpet mine attack such as those alleged to be launched by Iran last June.
Iranian President Rouhani responds
The President Hassan Rouhani said he was concerned about recent events in the region and called for a political solutio. Rouhani said investigations into the Sabiti attack would continue. Rouhani said: "The fact that a country may think it can create insecurity in the region without receiving a response is a mistake," he said.
Recent events have led to greater tension in the area
An Al Jazeera article notes: "In May, tensions began to rise over the Strait of Hormuz, an important trade waterway in the Gulf through which an estimated one-fifth of the world's oil supply is transported. At the time, Washington accused Tehran of being behind a series of suspected sabotage attacks on tankers in the strategic oil chokepoint. Weeks later, the US said Iran had shot down a US drone flying over international waters. Iran has contended the aircraft was flying in Iranian airspace. " Iran has denied being involved in the events.
Just last month, drones and cruise missiles hit a major Saudi oil field and processing plant. Iran was blamed for the attack even though responsibility was claimed by the Houthis who are fighting against the Saudis and allies in Yemen.
Although the attack on the Sabiti was on the opposite side of Saudi Arabia from the Strait of Hormuz and not near Iran, it will no doubt increase tension between the Saudis and Iran.
More about Sabiti, National Iranian Tanker Company, attack on Iranian oil tranker
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