A senior Iranian lawmaker has blamed the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia for the recent attack on an Iranian tanker in the Red Sea and pledged to take the matter to the United Nations.
Abolfazl Hassan Beigi, a member of the national security and foreign policy committee in Iran’s parliament, claimed on Wednesday that footage taken by cameras on the tanker points to the three countries, which are locked in a cold war with Iran.
“There are abundant documents and evidence of interference of certain governments in the attack against the Iranian oil tanker and they will be presented to the UN and the UN Security Council,” the lawmaker said, as quoted by Fars News, adding that those behind the attack should “pay the price” for their actions.
Meanwhile, Iran’s security chief Ali Shamkhani on Wednesday pledged to “give a response” that will make those behind the attack “regret their act.”
The Iranian oil tanker Sabiti caught fire on 11 October as it was heading to Syria on the Red Sea. At the time of the incident, the vessel was around 100 kilometres from the Saudi port of Jeddah.
The Sabiti belongs to the National Iranian Tanker Company, which has published photos that appear to show two holes in the ship above the waterline. The company said the Sabiti was likely hit by two missiles, reportedly leading to an explosion and an oil leak that was quickly stopped.
Earlier this week, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif described the suspected missile attack as “state-sponsored action” carried out by “one or more governments” but refused to pin the blame on anyone until the official investigation is over.
Saudi Arabia has denied any role in the incident, and there has been no word from the United States or Israel on the news either.
A series of unexplained attacks against ships in the Gulf and Saudi oil installations between May and September increased already-boiling tensions between the United States and its major regional ally Saudi Arabia, on one side, and Iran, one the other side. Washington, which continues to pursue its “maximum pressure” campaign vis-a-vis Iran, was quick to lay the responsibility with Tehran in each case, which the latter staunchly denied.