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.