Indian Tanker Allowed to Leave after 26 Days in Detention
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Indian oil tanker MT Desh Shanti, which was detained for 26 days at Iran's Bandar Abbas Port for leaking crude into Persian Gulf waters, was allowed to leave on Saturday, after the Iranian authorities ordered its release.
"MT Desh Shanti was finally released at 2345 hrs (IST) on September 6th and the vessel sailed out from Bandar Abbas after receiving her documents," official sources told the PTI.
In early August, Iran detained an Indian oil tanker that was carrying crude oil from Basra in southern Iraq, citing environmental considerations for the move, as the tanker was leaking crude into the sea.
The Indian shipping officials had earlier announced that the detained oil tanker was carrying no oil at the time it was stopped by the Iranian forces.
An official with India's Shipping Ministry said, "She sailed last night after being finally released from detention. We have not paid anything; only normal LoU (an undertaking as per practice)."
India had strongly objected to the detention, saying it was in transgression of UN Convention on the Laws of the Sea and warning of serious ramifications.
An India Foreign Ministry official, Sujatha Singh, had earlier last week summoned the Iranian ambassador to New Delhi, voiced India’s strong objection to the detention of the tanker, and asked for its unconditional release.
But the Iranian embassy, in a statement issued after that, announced that the detaining of the ship was due to purely technical reasons and that there was no political consideration involved in the move.
On August 11, Iran's foreign ministry spokesman expressed Tehran's readiness to cooperate with New Delhi to clarify the technical issues surrounding the detention of the Indian oil tanker in the Persian Gulf.