Two rockets hit an Iranian oil tanker traveling across the Red Sea off the coast of Saudi Arabia on Friday, Iranian officials said, the latest incident in the region amid months of tensions between Tehran and the United States.
Saudi Arabia did not receive news about the reported attack and Saudi officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Iranian state television said the explosion damaged two warehouses aboard the unnamed tanker and caused an oil leak in the Red Sea, near the Saudi port city of Jeddah.
The state IRNA The news agency, citing the National Iranian Tanker Co. of Iran, identified the affected vessel as Sabity. That ship last ignited its tracking devices in August near the Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas.
Lieutenant Pete Pagano, spokesman for the 5th Fleet of the US Navy. UU. He oversees the Middle East, said authorities were "aware of the reports of this incident," but declined to comment further.
The reported attack comes after the United States claimed that in recent months Iran attacked oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, a charge denied by Tehran.
Friday's incident could further increase tensions between Iran and the United States, more than a year after President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the United States from the nuclear agreement and imposed sanctions that now crush Iran's economy.
The mysterious attacks on oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, Iran shooting down a US military surveillance drone. UU. And other incidents throughout the Middle East followed Trump's decision.
The last assault saw Saudi Arabia's vital oil industry fall under an attack by drones and cruise missiles, halving the production of the kingdom. The United States blamed Iran for the attack. Tehran denied the accusation.
The Houthi rebels of Yemen, who the kingdom is fighting in a war of many years, said they were assaulted, although analysts say the missiles used in the attack would not have the range to reach the sites from Yemen.