Indian tanker not allowed to leave despite release order

Indian tanker not allowed to leave despite release orderNEW DELHI: Even 48 hours after Iranian central authorities ordered its release, the Indian oil tanker continues to be held at Iran’s Bandar Abbas Port, with Revolutionary Guards, who detained it 25 days ago, still on board.

The ship has not been allowed to leave by the local authorities at Bandar Abbas Port who are maintaining that they have not received the release order so far, sources told PTI.

The vessel MT Desh Shanti, having a capacity to carry 1,40,000 tonnes of crude, was seized by Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) on August 12 citing environmental and pollution concerns.

After over a three-week-long stand-off, Iran ordered release of the tanker that was detained by it in Persian Gulf while carrying crude from Basrah in Iraq.

“Iran has ordered release of the Indian oil tanker,” a source in the Ministry of External Affairs had said yesterday.

The development followed hectic parleys between the two countries. India had strongly objected to the detention, saying it was a “colorable” exercise in transgression of UN Convention on the Laws of the Sea and warning of serious ramifications.

Objecting to pollution charges, India had said the vessel on an “innocent passage” from Basrah to Visakhapatnam was not voluntarily destined at any Iranian port and was “forcibly diverted” to Iranian waters and then subject to PSC inspection.

In a strongly-worded letter to Iran, India had made it clear that Port State Control (PSC) is a legitimate mechanism to be utilized prudently and “any arbitrary enforcement of this well-established regime can have serious ramifications on the smooth conduct of international maritime transport and may send alarming messages to the shipping community….”

The letter to the Iranian Director General, Safety and Marine Protection, said “we, the Indian administration, strongly object to this colorable exercise of power and remind your administration that your act in this case was in transgression of the UNCLOS’82 and several other international conventions.”

Last week, Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh had summoned the Iranian Ambassador Gholamreza Ansari here to lodge a strong protest against the detention of the tanker and sought its “unconditional” release.

The development comes at a time when India, the world’s fourth-largest oil importer, has significantly reduced its import from Iran following severe financial sanctions from the Western countries against the Islamic republic.

Iranians have been maintaining that the detention was “purely a technical and non-political issue”.-PTI

0 - 0

Thank You For Your Vote!

Sorry You have Already Voted!