An undated picture shows the Iranian-owned Sabiti oil tanker sailing in Red Sea [National Iranian Oil Tanker Company via WANA via Reuters]

An Iranian government spokesman has described as “cowardly” an attack on its oil tanker, which was hit in Red Sea waters off the coast of Saudi Arabia on Friday.

“Iran is avoiding haste, carefully examining what has happened and probing facts,” spokesman Ali Rabei was quoted as saying by the official news agency IRNA.

He said Iran would respond after the facts had been studied. “An appropriate response will be given to the designers of this cowardly attack, but we will wait until all aspects of the plot are clarified,” he said.

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Iranian media said the incident could stoke friction in

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