India urges Iran to free all its crew after nine released

Cheryl Sanders
July 28, 2019

Twenty-one Indian nationals still detained by Iran, three aboard the MT Riah and 18 on the UK-flagged Stena Impero that was also captured by Tehran last week.

"Our mission in Iran has requested the concerned Iranian authorities for the release of remaining crew members", he said.

A Royal Navy warship has arrived in the Persian Gulf to accompany British-flagged ships passing through the Strait of Hormuz, amid tensions after Iran seized a British tanker this month.

But other senior Iranian officials have suggested the ship was seized in retaliation for the British navy's role in seizing an Iranian supertanker first, off the coast of Gibraltar, over violations of European Union sanctions on oil sales to Syria. Diplomats are working to secure their release, India's foreign ministry said Thursday, a day after three diplomats meet the crew on board the detained ship.

"All 18 Indian crew members on board are safe and doing fine". "Crew's morale is high".

The tanker crisis comes amid heightened tensions in the Middle East, as a result of US President Donald Trump's "maximum pressure" strategy on Iran. Assured all assistance for early release.

"What we saw was that the crew members were very calm, very composed, and there was no sense of panic. HCI London will facilitate necessary travel document and related arrangements", he wrote.

Indian and Iranian authorities said this week Iran had granted India consular access to 18 Indian crew seized on another ship, the British-flagged Stena Impero, that Iran seized in the Strait of Hormuz on 19 July. That ship's crew is being held aboard the vessel, as is the crew of the Stena Impero, which is now near the heavily guarded Iranian port of Bandar Abbas. Shenoy's father added that they have been informed that the release of the crew could take some time "since it happens to be an worldwide level issue".

The vessel went missing on July 13 initially and was discovered in Iranian custody with 12 Indian sailors on board.

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