Jaishankar speaks to Iranian FM, discusses release of Indians on seized ship | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Jaishankar speaks to Iranian FM, discusses release of Indians on seized ship

Apr 14, 2024 10:42 PM IST

The Iranian military on Saturday seized the cargo ship, MSC Aries, near the Strait of Hormuz. The ship has 17 Indian crew members.

External affairs minister S Jaishankar on Sunday said that he spoke to his Iranian counterpart H Amirabdollahian regarding the release of 17 Indian crew members who are among the 25-member crew of a cargo ship seized by Iranian troops.

External Affairs S Jaishankar at the 3rd Summit for Democracy.(PTI)
External Affairs S Jaishankar at the 3rd Summit for Democracy.(PTI)

“Spoke to Iranian FM Amirabdolahian this evening. Took up the release of 17 Indian crew members of MSC Aries,” Jaishankar shared on X. “Discussed the current situation in the region. Stressed the importance of avoiding escalation, exercising restraint and returning to diplomacy.”

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The finance minister said that both sides agreed to remain in touch.

 

The Iranian military on Saturday seized the cargo ship – MSC Aries – with alleged Israeli links near the Strait of Hormuz. The ship has 17 Indian crew members.

A special forces unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) carried out the operation to take control of MSC Aries in the Gulf of Hormuz, about 80 km off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.

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

Hours after the incident, India said that is in touch with Iranian authorities to ensure the security and early release of 17 Indian nationals.

“We are aware that the cargo ship MSC Aries has been taken control of by Iran. We have learnt that there are 17 Indian nationals on board,” people familiar with the matter said.

The Italian-Swiss shipping group MSC said in a statement that there were 25 crew members on board the container ship. It said MSC Aries has been “boarded by Iranian authorities via helicopter as she passed the Strait of Hormuz at approximately 0243 UTC this morning”.

Also Read | A new and dangerous turn in West Asia

MSC said it is “working closely with the relevant authorities to ensure their wellbeing, and safe return of the vessel”.

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

The ship is associated with London-based Zodiac Maritime, which is part of Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer’s Zodiac Group.

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