Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kanaani said on Monday that Iran had announced three years ago it was prepared to remove oil from the rusting Safer tanker, anchored north of the port of Hudaydah for more than 30 years, under the supervision of the UN and Yemeni authorities.
“Iran has pursued various negotiations to put an end to the Safir oil tanker issue to prevent potential ecological, humanitarian, and economic catastrophes for Yemen and the region,” he stated.
He said the Islamic Republic has consistently called for a peaceful resolution of the Yemeni conflict, and expressed hope the coordinated salvage operation off Hudaydah could serve as a stepping stone for addressing humanitarian issues, including the complete lifting of the Yemen blockade.
Maintenance work on the Safer, which was used for storage, has been suspended since 2015 due to the Saudi-led war on Yemen. In recent years, concerns had grown that the rusting tanker could cause an environmental and economic catastrophe.