Iran: Pollution Concerns Reason for Interception of Indian Tanker
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s embassy in New Delhi dismissed rumors by some Indian media that political motives were behind the interception of an Indian oil tanker in the Persian Gulf.
“Over the past days, a number of distorted reports have been published by certain Indian media over interception of the Indian MT Desh Shanti oil tanker in the Persian Gulf waters. The Iranian embassy deems in necessary to clarify the issue to inform the public opinion,” Iran’s embassy in Indian capital of New Delhi said in a statement.
The statement came a few days after Iran’s naval forces in the Persian Gulf intercepted the Indian oil tanker, MT Desh Shanti, carrying Iraqi oil to India on Tuesday. The vessel was carrying 140,000 tons of Basrah crude from Iraq to India.
The statement also added that the Indian ship was detained “only because of the warning issued by the MEMAC, which is affiliated to the Regional Organization for Protection of Maritime Environment in the Persian Gulf and the Oman Sea.”
In relevant remarks on Friday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Araqchi also announced that interception of the vessel had no political dimensions, adding that the move was due to pollution concerns.
“This ship has caused widespread pollution in the Persian Gulf, and under international regulations we were obliged to stop the ship for investigation,” the Iranian spokesperson stated.
Some Indian sources had raised speculations earlier that the development could be in response to India’s recent steps to reduce its crude oil imports from Iran.