Saudi Arabia is holding an Iranian oil tanker in the port of Jeddah, sources in Tehran said yesterday. The tanker docked in Jeddah for emergency repairs following "engine failure and the loss of control" two months ago.
Now the Saudi authorities are demanding that Iran should pay $200,000 for every day that the vessel has been in dock, Russia Today has reported.
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh told reporters on Wednesday that officials at the National Iranian Oil Tanker Company are following up on the matter. The problem, he insisted, will be solved soon.
"The issue has financial implications for Iran," the minister added, "but we are more concerned about a possible environmental disaster in the region."
A number of Iranian officials have criticised the Saudi demand, which they describe as "illegal".