Saudi Arabia responding to Iran oil tanker emergency

Combined Shape

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — An Iranian oil tanker carrying over 1 million barrels of fuel oil suffered a malfunction in the Red Sea off the coast of Saudi Arabia, authorities said Thursday, raising concerns that the vessel could be leaking.

The incident involving the Happiness I came as U.S. oil exemptions for Iranian crude oil purchases expired, part of President Donald Trump’s maximalist approach against Tehran.

Saudi Arabia’s state-run television channels and news agency said authorities received a distress call from the Happiness I over an “engine failure and the loss of control.”

The vessel had a crew of 26, including 24 Iranians and two Bangladeshis, Saudi state media said. They described the ship’s position as some 70 kilometers (44 miles) south of Jiddah in the Red Sea.

Saudi authorities said various government agencies were involved in the operation, including those who handle environmental protection. It did not elaborate on whether oil had spilled from the tanker.

Trending:
Biden Cancels Trump's 'Garden of American Heroes' and Ends Exec Order Protecting Monuments

Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency quoted the state-run National Iranian Tanker Co. as saying the tanker would be transferred to Jiddah’s port. It said the vessel, on the way to the Suez Canal, broke down over water leaking into its engine room.

No one was injured in the incident and Iran denied any fuel had leaked out. The website MarineTraffic.com, which tracks vessels at sea, put the Happiness I about 40 kilometers (25 miles) off the coast of Jiddah late Thursday morning.

The website TankerTrackers.com, whose analysts monitor oil sales on the seas, estimated the Happiness I carried at least 1.1 million barrels of fuel oil. It said the ship sailed in tandem with another smaller sister ship named the Sabiti.

The Happiness I stopped its engines Tuesday, then was shadowed by the Sabiti close enough to have its crew escape, TankerTrackers said. Two tugboats from Saudi Arabia appeared to have reached the ships, TankerTrackers said.

TankerTrackers said it did not believe there was an oil leak, though information about the incident was still murky.

Saudi Arabia and Iran are chief Mideast rivals. Iran now faces increased pressure from the U.S. over its oil sales after Trump pulled America out of its nuclear deal with world powers. Iran has warned it will respond aggressively to any attempt to cut its oil exports to zero, as the Trump administration has pledged to do.

This is the latest incident involving an Iranian tanker.

In January 2018, the Iranian oil tanker Sanchi struck the Chinese freighter CF Crystal 257 kilometers (160 miles) off the coast of Shanghai in the East China Sea. The Sanchi, carrying nearly 1 million barrels of a gassy, ultra-light oil bound for South Korea, burst into flames, killing 32 sailors on board.

___

Related:
China Lands on Mars for the 1st Time in Another Step Forward for Its Space Program

Associated Press writer Amir Vahdat in Tehran, Iran, contributed to this report.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →






We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
Combined Shape
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




Conversation