Saudi Arabia sends stranded Iranian crew member to Oman

Saudi Arabia sends stranded Iranian crew member to Oman
Saudi Arabia said it sent a crew member of an Iranian ship to Oman after providing him with medical treatment.
2 min read
20 July, 2019
The crew member was evacuated from a ship in June [File Photo: Getty]
A crew member from an Iranian ship, who was previously evacuated for medical reasons from a ship off the Yemeni port of Hodeida, was sent to Oman, Saudi authorities said on Saturday, from where he will likely make the short trip back home.

The Iranian citizen received medical treatment in Saudi Arabia prior to his departure to Oman at the request of Tehran, according to the state news agency SPA.

The crew member was airlifted for treatment from the ship off the Yemeni coast to a military hospital in the southern Saudi city of Jizan, coalition spokesman Turki al-Malki said in June.

Malki said the rescue happened after the kingdom received a distress call from the "suspicious" Iranian vessel 'Safiz', adding that it also received a formal request for assistance from Iran's mission to the UN.

Earlier, Maliki alleged 'Safiz' was supplying the Houthis with naval mines, a growing menace in Yemen's four-year conflict.

The reported rescue came after sabotage attacks damaged four vessels, two of them Saudi oil tankers, off the UAE and twin Yemeni rebel drone attacks shut down a key Saudi oil pipeline.

The incidents prompted Saudi Arabia to convene three crisis summits, which sought to rally support among leaders of Arab and other Muslim-majority states against Iran.

Tehran has strongly denied involvement in the attacks on oil infrastructure and denies supplying the Houthis with weapons.

It came a month after an Iranian tanker was forced to seek repairs at a Saudi port after suffering "engine failure and loss of control", the Iranian oil ministry said, in a rare docking in the regional foe.

The staunch rivals have had no diplomatic relations since Riyadh broke off ties in 2016 after protesters angry at its execution of a top Shia cleric torched its diplomatic missions in Iran.

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