19:33 GMT +323 September 2019
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    Iranian Revolutionary Guard speedboat moves in the Persian Gulf near an oil tanker (File)

    Iranian Oil Tanker Breaks Down in Red Sea off Saudi Arabia's Coast

    © AP Photo / Vahid Salemi
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    A technical malfunction occurred on board the HELM, an oil tanker owned by the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC), in the Red Sea off the coast of Saudi Arabia, the media outlet IRNA reported.

    Iran's HELM oil tanker, one of the biggest vessels of its kind in the world, broke down on Wednesday about 120 km (75 miles) from the Saudi port of Yanbu.

    According to National Iranian Tanker Company spokesman Jabal Ameli, the crew are trying to fix the problem.

    “The ship’s crew are fixing the defect and the vessel is in a stable condition from a safety standpoint. Fortunately, the ship’s crew are in a safe condition,” Akbar Jabal-Ameli, said as quoted by the media outlet IRNA.

    The HELM has been subject to US sanctions. Iran has one of the largest tanker fleets in the world.

    Earlier, US Special Envoy for Iran Brian Hook said that Washington has called on all countries to ban Iranian oil tankers from their ports and not grant them passage.

    In July, the Iran-flagged tanker Adrian Darya 1, former known as Grace 1, was impounded on suspicion of carrying oil to Syria in breach of EU sanctions. The ship was ordered to be released last week and is heading for Greece. Iran said it was considering a naval escort after the United States made a last-minute request to detain it.

    On 19 July, the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps seized a UK-flagged tanker, the Stena Impero, in the Strait of Hormuz, citing a breach of international maritime regulations. The oil tanker, with its 23-member crew, was towed to the port in Bandar Abbas.

    Related:

    Iranian Tanker Adrian Darya Currently Leased to Iranian Shipping Company - Reports
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    Red Sea, malfunction, oil tanker, Iran
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