(Associated Press) NASSER KARIMI and JON GAMBRELL October 11 2019 TEHRAN Iran Iran said Friday two missiles struck one of its oil tankers traveling through the Red Sea off the coast of Saudi Arabia a mysterious assault not immediately corroborated that still spiked oil prices amid months of heightened tensions at sea across the wider Mideast. There was no acknowledgement of the incident from Saudi Arabia which in September had more than half of its daily crude oil production knocked out by an assault the U.S. blamed on Iran something denied by Tehran. All the attacks came after President Donald Trumps decision to unilaterally withdraw America from Tehrans nuclear deal with world powers and impose crushing sanctions targeting Irans crude oil sales and shipments. Iranian officials warned for weeks that if they couldnt sell their oil neither would anyone else in the region. This latest incident if confirmed to be an act of aggression is highly likely to be part of the wider narrative of deteriorating relations between Saudi and the U.S. and Iran" private maritime security firm Dryad Maritime warned. It is likely that the region ... will face another period of increasing maritime threats as the Iranian and Saudi geopolitical stand-off continues" it added. The attack reportedly took place around 5 a.m. and damaged two storerooms aboard the oil tanker Sabiti state media reported. It also briefly caused an oil leak into the Red Sea near the Saudi port city of Jiddah that later was stopped state-run IRNA news agency reported. The Sabiti turned on its tracking devices late Friday morning in the Red Sea putting its location some 130 kilometers (80 miles) southwest of Jiddah according to data from MarineTraffic.com. The ship is carrying some 1 million barrels of crude oil according to an analysis from data firm Refinitiv.
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