Port and Maritime Organization of Iran (PMO) in a statement dismissed Saudi authorities' claims that they wanted to assist the Iranian oil tanker, SABITI, which had come under missile attacks in the Red Sea.
The PMO said in the statement on Sunday that the Saudi coast guards ignored SABITI's repeated requests for help.
It added that Saudi authorities had refused to provide help to the Iranian tanker MT Sabiti after it came under attacks at 01.30 and 01.50 GMT Friday by two missiles fired from an unknown location.
The statement said the coast guard in Jeddah refused to respond to 16 distress calls sent by the ship over four communication channels between 05.11 and 07.20 GMT on Friday, adding that Saudi authorities responded to a communication from Iran’s port of Bandar Abbas at 05.55 GMT by saying that they had not received any distress call from MT Sabiti and that Iranians were exaggerating the case.
The statement said that Saudi authorities also ignored another distress call sent by the ship at 07.30 GMT, prompting port officials in Iran to send an email to Jeddah, as well as to the coast guards in Sudan and Egypt, at 08.20 GMT, demanding help.
However, it said that two helicopters scrambled from a warship sailing nearby at 10.00 GMT had returned to the ship after 10 minutes without providing any help to the Iranian ship.
The attacks on MT Sabiti caused an oil spill that was stopped shortly after. The PMO’s narrative of what happened to the ship came in response to an official statement on the Saudi Press Agency on Saturday which claimed that the tanker had switched off its tracking system when Saudi authorities tried to offer help.
Iranian officials have said that MT Sabiti, which sails under the Iranian flag and is operated by the National Iranian Tanker Company, is currently on its way back home and will dock at an Iranian port within the next 8 days.
Iran has said that it would not let the attack on the ship go unanswered, insisting that a reaction would come after a thorough investigation of the facts in Tehran.
Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani condemned the Friday attack on SABITI oil tanker, stressing firm response to the "dangerous adventurism".
"The piracy and mischiefs in international waterways with the aim of making traffic of trade vessels insecure will not remain unanswered," Shamkhani said on Saturday.
He noted that a special committee had been formed to investigate the missile attacks on the SABITI oil tanker and the main clues of the "dangerous adventurism" had become clear after studying the existing footage and evidence, adding that a report will be soon sent to the relevant officials to make a final decision.
Shamkhani warned of worrying dangers to the global economy by attempts to make the international waterways insecure, and said, "The masterminds, executors and supporters of such provocative measures should account for their consequences." ■