Iran to allow Indian authorities to meet crew members of seized ship | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Iran to allow Indian authorities to meet crew members of seized ship

Apr 15, 2024 11:52 AM IST

Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian gave the assurance while speaking on the phone with his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar on Sunday

Indian authorities will be allowed to meet the 17 Indian crew members of an Israel-affiliated cargo vessel that was seized by Iranian commandoes in the Gulf of Hormuz over the weekend, Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has said.

The vessel was seized about 80 km off the coast of the UAE. (AP)
The vessel was seized about 80 km off the coast of the UAE. (AP)

Amir-Abdollahian gave the assurance while speaking on the phone with his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar on Sunday evening, according to a readout on the conversation from Iran’s foreign ministry. Jaishankar had brought up the release of the Indian crew members of the cargo vessel MSC Aries during the phone call.

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Also Read: Kerala couple await return of son following cargo ship seizure by Iran

“We are following up on the details of the seized ship and soon it will be possible for the representatives of the Indian government to meet with the crew of the said ship,” the readout quoted Amir-Abdollahian as saying.

The readout said Jaishankar “expressed his concern about the situation of the 17 Indian crew members in the ship seized by Iran” and requested assistance from Iran in this regard.

Indian authorities had said hours after the vessel was seized by a special forces unit of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) about 80 km off the coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that they were in touch with their Iranian counterparts to ensure the security and early release of 17 Indian nationals among the 25-member crew of the ship.

Also Read: Jaishankar speaks to Iranian FM, discusses release of Indians on seized ship

The 17 Indians on board the Portuguese-flagged and Israel-affiliated cargo vessel include the master. The crew also has four Filipinos, two Pakistanis, one Russian, and one Estonian.

The Italian-Swiss shipping group MSC has said it is “working closely with the relevant authorities” to ensure the wellbeing of the crew. The ship is associated with London-based Zodiac Maritime, part of Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer’s Zodiac Group.

Since the start of the Israel-Hamas conflict, India has taken action several times to protect ships with Indian crew members that were targeted by Iran’s proxy forces such as the Houthi rebels of Yemen.

On Friday, India issued an advisory urging its citizens not to travel to Iran or Israel following the rise in tensions between the two sides. It also asked all Indian nationals living in the two countries to observe “utmost precautions”.

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