Iran to grant India access to crew members of seized Israeli-linked ship

Crew including 17 Indian citizens have been held by Tehran since vessel was captured near Strait of Hormuz

Commandos raid a ship near the Strait of Hormuz by helicopter Saturday.  AP Photo
Powered by automated translation

Indian diplomats will “soon” be allowed to meet the crew of an Israel-linked cargo ship seized by Iran, the Iranian Foreign Ministry announced.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps seized the Portuguese-flagged cargo ship MSC Aries on Saturday carrying 25 crew, 17 of whom are Indian citizens. New Delhi has contacted Tehran to secure their release.

Iran's Foreign Ministry acknowledged on Monday that India has requested assistance from Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian.

“Dr Amirabdollahian said in this regard that 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 the crew of the said ship,” the ministry said.

The incident came on the day Tehran launched 300 missiles and combat drones in retaliation for Israel’s air strike on the Iranian embassy in Damascus on April 1.

The Mediterranean Shipping Company confirmed the vessel was seized by Iranian security forces near the Strait of Hormuz and diverted towards Iran. A video showed commandos raiding the ship by helicopter.

Iran says it seized Israeli ship in Arabian Sea

Iran says it seized Israeli ship in Arabian Sea

Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar expressed concern over the crew’s conditions in a phone call to his Iranian counterpart.

“Spoke to Iranian Foreign Minister Amirabdollahian. Took up the release of 17 Indian crew members of MSC Aries. Discussed the current situation in the region,” Mr Jaishankar said on X on Monday.

He also called for avoiding escalation and exercising restraint in the Middle East.

“Discussed the current situation in the region. Stressed the importance of avoiding escalation, exercising restraint and returning to diplomacy. Agreed to remain in touch,” Mr Jaishankar said.

Updated: April 15, 2024, 8:46 AM