Military Capabilities

Iran reports two more tanker attacks to IMO

08 November 2019

The damage inflicted on the Iranian tanker Sabiti. Source: Fars News Agency

Iran has told the International Maritime Organization (IMO) that three of its tankers have been attacked in the Red Sea this year, the Wall Street Journal reported on 6 November.

Iran previously reported one attack carried out against the tanker Sabiti on 11 October, forcing it to return to Iran. The National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) said the vessel was probably hit by two missiles and photographs showed its hull had been punctured in two places.

The Wall Street Journal reported an Iranian letter to the IMO as saying, “We believe that this is an attack organised by one or more states, since two other Iranian flagged [very large] tankers were similarly attacked in the same approximate area” and with “similar damages to the ships.”

The newspaper identified the two other tankers as Happiness 1 and Helm , which were attacked in April and August respectively.

The Iranian media previously reported that Happiness 1 experienced engine trouble in the Red Sea in early May and was forced to dock at the Saudi port of Jeddah. It was allowed to sail for Iran on 21 July, after Riyadh and Tehran reached an undisclosed agreement regarding the cost of its stay in Jeddah.

The NITC reported on 21 August that Helm had suffered technical issues about 120 km north of Yanbu.

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