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HindustanTimes Wed,17 Sep 2014

Ship’s detention: India, Iran row set to spiral

Jayanth Jacob, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, September 18, 2013
First Published: 01:18 IST(18/9/2013) | Last Updated: 01:33 IST(18/9/2013)

The diplomatic wrangle between India and Iran over the detention of a ship, due to arrive in Vizag on Wednesday is set to heighten, as New Delhi will present technical evidence showing that the tanker was far from the site of oil spill alleged by Iran.

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Details will be presented before international arbitration to get the “name of the tanker, MT Desh Shanti, cleared, accused of oil spilling”.

India says the ship was not carrying oil when detained. Later, Iranians said the oil spill could have been due to the tanks being cleaned.

Indians are citing satellite image details showing the tanker’s actual position was “Lat:27 degree 13.5 N long: 051 deg 52/5’E— which means 42 nautical miles (nm) to the west and 85 nm from the oil spill”.

A warning from the Marine Emergency Mutual Aid Centre (MEMAC), a regional intergovernmental organisation based in Bahrain, said the ships location was Lat 26 deg 53’ N long: 052 deg 32’NE.

The ship’s captain said MT  Desh was actually headed in the opposite direction towards Basra in Iraq. The Indian argument is that the warning was against some other ship and it was wrongly held. Since the location was wrong, they couldn’t receive radio messages.


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