Spokesman: Iran to Fully Cooperate with India over Oil Tanker
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian foreign ministry spokesman called India a friendly country and reliable trade partner, and expressed Tehran's readiness to cooperate with New Delhi to clarify the technical issues surrounding the Indian oil tanker detained in the Persian Gulf.
The Indian oil tanker was detained by Iranian naval forces in accordance with international regulations, for which the ship’s captain is accountable, Seyed Abbas Araqchi said, adding that Iran is ready for cooperation with India to resolve the issue.
“The oil tanker issue is a trivial technical matter and Iran deals with it as a concerned party, while we are ready for cooperation with them (Indians) on the matter,” he said.
His remarks came after the Indian media reported that the Shipping Corporation of India-owned vessel, which is currently at the port of Bandar Abbas, has been subjected to repeated inspections (port state control) by the Iranian maritime authorities.
Earlier, Iran’s embassy in New Delhi had 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,” the embassy said in a statement.
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, Araqchi had 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.