Stricken Iran tanker snubs Saudi offer of help

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This photo released by the official news agency of the Iranian Oil Ministry, SHANA, shows Iranian oil tanker Sabiti traveling through the Red Sea on Oct. 11, 2019. Two missiles struck the Iranian tanker Sabiti traveling through the Red Sea off the coast of Saudi Arabia on Friday, Iranian officials said, the latest incident in the region amid months of heightened tensions between Tehran and the US. (SHANA via AP)
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A handout picture released Iranian State TV IRIB on October 10, 2019, allegedly shows the Iranian crude oil tanker Sabiti sailing in the Red Sea. (AFP / IRIB handout)
Updated 13 October 2019

Stricken Iran tanker snubs Saudi offer of help

  • The Iranian tanker Sabiti was reportedly hit by a missile as it sailed across the Read Sea last week
  • Iran’s Foreign Ministry said the ship was hit twice, without saying what struck it. 

JEDDAH: A stricken Iranian tanker leaking oil into the Red Sea near Jeddah rejected an offer of help from Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom said on Saturday.

“An e-mail from the captain of the tanker Sabiti was received saying the front of the vessel had been broken, resulting in an oil spill,” a Saudi border guard spokesman said.

“After analysis of the information by the coordination center with the aim of providing any necessary assistance ... the ship shut off its tracking system without responding to the center’s calls.

“The Kingdom affirms its commitment to the security and safety of maritime navigation, as well as international agreements and norms.”

There was confusion in Tehran over what happened to the tanker. The national oil company said the vessel was hit by missiles, and two storerooms were damaged, but it denied Iranian media reports that the attack came from Saudi Arabia.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry said the ship was hit twice, without saying what struck it. 

Iranian state television broadcast images from the Sabiti’s deck taken after the attack, but showing no visible damage. 

Cabinet spokesman Ali Rabiei said Iran was investigating the incident  while “avoiding hastiness.”

Iran said the tanker would arrive at one of its ports in about 10 days. 

Late on Saturday, trackers showed the vessel was still in the Red Sea about 400 km south of Jeddah.


Kuwait’s emir reappoints premier, removes defense and interior ministers

Updated 18 November 2019

Kuwait’s emir reappoints premier, removes defense and interior ministers

  • Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah asked Sheikh Jaber to form a new cabinet, state news agency KUNA said

DUBAI: Kuwait’s ruling emir on Monday reappointed Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah as prime minister but removed the defense and interior ministers, both senior members of the ruling family, from their posts after the government’s resignation last week.

Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah asked Sheikh Jaber to form a new cabinet, state news agency KUNA said. Sheikh Jaber last week submitted the government’s resignation when lawmakers sought a no-confidence vote against the interior minister.

KUNA said in a separate statement that the emir ordered the removal of his son, Defense Minister Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, and Interior Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah from their posts in the current caretaker cabinet.