'We Have Evidence': Israel, Saudis Struck Iranian Tanker in Red Sea, Lawmaker Says

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Photo shows reported damage in the hull of the Iranian-flagged Sabiti tanker, October 13, 2019
Photo shows reported damage in the hull of the Iranian-flagged Sabiti tanker, October 13, 2019Credit: AFP

A member of Iran's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission said on Wednesday that footage proves last week's attack on an Iranian oil tanker was carried out by the U.S., Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Haaretz Weekly Ep. 44

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Abolfazl Hassanbeigi was quoted in the Iranian news agency Mehr as saying that the evidence "will be taken to the UN and the Security Council so that those countries behind this terrorist attack would pay for their action."

On Friday, Iranian state television said an Iranian-owned oil tanker was struck by two missiles off the Saudi port of Jeddah. The tanker was set ablaze, destroying two storerooms causing an oil leak into the Red Sea, about 60 miles (96 km) from Jeddah.

According to Hassanbeigi, “Saudi Arabia and the U.S. are trying to put the blame on the ISIL [Islamic State] or the Taliban for the attack, but the documents dismiss such a notion as no ISIL or Taliban terrorists are present in the Red Sea." Still, he added, both ISIS and the Taliban "were created and sponsored by Saudi Arabia and the Israeli regime."

Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said on Tuesday that "the attack on Iran was a sophisticated, state-sponsored action."

Tensions are already high in the Red Sea shipping area, which links the Indian Ocean with the Mediterranean via the Suez Canal.

It follows strikes on key Saudi oil installations in September and attacks on tankers in the Gulf area in May and June. The United States has blamed Iran, which denied any role.

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