TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club(YJC)_“We will give a response that will make those behind the attack on the Iranian vessel and seek to create a new wave of tension in the region regret their act,” Ali Shamkhani said.
He described insecurity in international waterways as a contributory factor in creating crises in the region.
The senior Iranian official made the remarks during a meeting with Alexander Lavrentiev, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s envoy for Syria, in Tehran on Wednesday.
The Sabiti oil tanker, owned by the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC), was hit by two separate explosions about 60 miles (96 km) from the Saudi port city of Jeddah on Friday. The blasts caused an oil spill that was stopped shortly afterwards.
The Port and Maritime Organization of Iran (PMO) said Sabiti came under attacks by two missiles fired from an unknown location.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Monday that the attack was undoubtedly carried out by a regime with the help of some regional countries.
“Of course, what happened in the Red Sea and our ship was targeted, caused problems and our investigation [into this issue] will be finalized soon. What is certain is that a regime with the help of some regional countries has been behind this and we are conducting a probe to see what has happened,” Rouhani said.
The incident is the latest involving oil tankers in the Red Sea and Persian Gulf region, a vital waterway linking oil-producing countries to world markets.
‘US seeks to revive Daesh’
Elsewhere in his remarks, the Iranian official also warned of a secretive plan by the United States to revive the terrorist group of Daesh and foment insecurity in West Asia.
Shamkhani underlined the need for regional countries to remain vigilant and adopt coordinated measures to prevent plots that could create insecurity and instability in the region.
Stressing that any double standard towards terrorism is unacceptable, Shamkhani said solving tensions in Syria’s embattled northwestern province of Idlib must be among the top priorities in the fight against terrorism.
He also voiced Iran’s opposition to the ongoing Turkish offensive in Syria, and called for an end to it.
“Any measure that can fuel insecurity and aggravate tension in the region should be immediately halted,” he said.
Shamkhani rejected any military solution to regional conflicts, including the Syria crisis and the Yemen war, and described diplomacy and talks between warring sides as the only way out of the crises.
He said any act of military aggression against regional countries would contribute to the policies of the US and Israel to increase insecurity in the region.
Turkey has been pressing ahead with its offensive against Kurdish militants in northern Syria despite US sanctions and growing calls for it to stop.
Turkey launched the offensive, called Operation Peace Spring, last week with the aim of purging the northern Syrian regions near its border of Kurdish militants, whom it views as terrorists linked to local autonomy-seeking militants of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Dozens of civilians have been killed in the operation so far and at least 160,000 have fled the area, according to the UN.
The Russian envoy, for his part, said Tehran and Moscow can ensure regional stability and security and prevent further spread of terrorism through continued cooperation.