West Asia News Agency has published new photos of Iranian oil tanker the Sabiti revealing the damage that it sustained to its hull during a recent attack in the Red Sea. The images show two large holes in its hull a bit above the water line on the right broadside of the vessel. Another set of photos shows the vessel's crew on deck, which seems to have been unharmed in the attack. According to the timestamps, the pictures were taken on 13 October – four days after the incident.
The attack, which was reportedly carried out with the use of two missiles, took place when the ship was sailing through the Red Sea, just 100 kilometres away from the Saudi port of Jeddah on 9 October. The attack damaged tanks, leading to an oil spill, but the consequences of the assault were soon resolved by the crew. The ship is currently heading towards Iranian waters and will arrive in about a week.
Iran has vowed to thoroughly investigate the incident and give an "appropriate response" to the "cowardly attack". Government spokesman Ali Rabiei noted that Tehran will "avoid hastiness" in its investigation.
Although initial reports suggested that the attack came from Saudi territory, the vessel's owner, the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), has refuted the claims. In an interview with media outlets on 13 October, Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir also denied the country's involvement in the attack, saying that Riyadh doesn't "engage in such behaviour".