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India gets consular access for Indians on-board seized Iranian, UK Tankers

Indian sailors who were taken into custody after an Iranian tanker was detained by British authorities. (Image source: @MOS_MEA) Photograph:( Twitter )

WION New Delhi Jul 25, 2019, 08.25 PM (IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal

India has got the consular access for Indians on board the seized Iranian tanker Grace 1 and UK tanker Stena Impero. 

On Thursday evening, the country's diplomats based in Tehran were given the consular access for 18 Indians who were taken into custody when Iran detained UK tanker Stena Impero. 

Earlier this week, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale met Iranian Ambassador in Delhi. The Indian Ambassador in Tehran also held meetings with senior officials of the Iranian Foreign Ministry regarding the issue.

Stena Impero was detained two weeks ago for "failing to respect international maritime rules", Iranian authorities stated.

On Wednesday, New Delhi was given consular access by British authorities for 24 Indian sailors who were taken into custody after an Iranian tanker was detained a few weeks ago. 

The Iranian tanker Grace 1 was detained off the coast of British Territory Gibraltar for allegedly carrying oil to Syria that would have violated sanctions on the country. 

A three-member team from the Indian mission in London met all 24 crew members. Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, "Crew members were calm and compose and no sense of panic" and Indian diplomats assured that government of "India will take all necessary steps for early release and repatriation".

The seizing of UK Tanker Stena Impero was seen as a reaction by Tehran to seizing of Iran Tanker Grace-1 and in both cases, Indians sailors on board them suffered the brunt.

Story highlights

The Iranian tanker Grace 1 was detained off the coast of British Territory Gibraltar for allegedly carrying oil to Syria that would have violated sanctions on the country