Indians aboard ship seized by Iran to be released when contractual obligations are accomplished: MEA

Public TV English
Public TV English
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NEW DELHI: In the case regarding Indian crew aboard an Israeli-linked cargo ship seized by Iran, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday that one of the 17 Indian crew members has safely returned to India and others are safe, adding that they will be released once their contractual obligations are accomplished.

“One girl who was there has returned. We had asked for consular access for these 16 people and we received that and our officers met them. Their health is good and there is no problem of any kind on the ship. Concerning their return, there are some technicalities and contractual obligations. Once they are done, it will decide their return”, MEA spokesperson, Randhir Jaiswal said in a weekly press briefing on Thursday.

This comes as the Iranian envoy to India, Iraj Elahi, has said that the Indian nationals, crew members of MSC Aries, are not detained and that they are free to go. He said after a woman cadet named Ann Tessa Joseph landed at the Cochin International airport, who was among the 17 Indians onboard the container vessel MSC Aries. “All of them are free to go. They are not detained. They can return India. They are under command of the captain”, said envoy Elahi .

The Indian deck cadet landed at Cochin International Airport afternoon and was received by the Regional Passport Officer of Cochin.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) also added that the Indian mission in Tehran is in touch with the remaining 16 Indian crew members of the container vessel.

“The crew members are in good health and in contact with their family members in India. Indian Mission is also in touch with the Iranian authorities in ensuring the well being of the remaining crew members of MSC Aries,” it added. Earlier, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had spoken to his Iranian counterpart Foreign Minister Amir Abdollahian on the matter.

Lauding the efforts of the Indian embassy in Iran, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said, “#ModiKiGuarantee always delivers”.”Great work, @India_in_Iran. Glad that Ms. Ann Tessa Joseph has reached home. #ModiKiGuarantee always delivers, at home or abroad”, Jaishankar posted on X.

Notably, the cadet was released after EAM Jaishankar earlier spoke with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in the wake of Iran’s direct attack on Israel on Saturday with missiles and drones that has stirred up tensions in West Asia.

The two leaders discussed the prevailing situation in West Asia, stressing that it is important to exercise restraint and return to diplomacy.

“Spoke to Iranian FM @Amirabdolahian this evening. Took up the release of 17 Indian crew members of MSC Aries. Discussed the current situation in the region. Stressed the importance of avoiding escalation, exercising restraint and returning to diplomacy. Agreed to remain in touch”, Jaishankar posted from his official X handle.

The cargo ship was seized by Iran on April 13, with 17 Indian nationals onboardIran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy seized the container ship near the Strait of Hormuz, The Times of Israel reported, citing an Iranian news agency. The MSC Aries was last seen on April 12, sailing towards the Strait of Hormuz off the coast of Dubai, according to The Times of Israel. (ANI)

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