HomeTop StoriesIndia could soon meet its crew on a ship seized by Iran

India could soon meet its crew on a ship seized by Iran

Indian officials may soon meet with crew members from the country who are on a ship seized by Iranian forces.

Seventeen of the 25 crew members of the MSC Aries, a commercial ship with connections to Israel, are Indian.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement following a telephone conversation between top officials of the two countries.

Iranian special forces captured the ship off the coast of the United Arab Emirates on Saturday, hours before Tehran launched an attack on Tel Aviv.

Iran launched hundreds of aerial drones and missiles at Israel in the unprecedented attack that has escalated tensions between the countries. Tel Aviv said 99% of weapons were intercepted.

India has called for an “immediate de-escalation” of hostilities between the two countries and asked them to “step back from violence” and “return to the path of diplomacy”. External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar also held telephone conversations with his counterparts in Iran and Israel.

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Iran said that during the call with its Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Mr. Jaishankar expressed concern over the situation of the 17 Indians on the ship and asked for help.

“We are following up on the details of the seized ship and soon it will be possible for the representatives of the Indian government to meet the crew,” the statement said, without giving a timeline.

The Portuguese-flagged ship is linked to Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer. The ship is operated by MSC, which leases the vessel from Gortal Shipping Inc – a company linked to Mr Ofer’s Zodiac Maritime.

It was intercepted by Iranian forces when it was about 80 kilometers off the coast of the UAE.

Footage obtained by Reuters news agency appeared to show troops rappelling onto the ship from a helicopter.

In addition to Indians, the crew also includes citizens from Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia and Estonia, according to a post on X (formerly Twitter) by Adrienne Watson, spokesperson for the White House National Security Council.

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The US and Britain have criticized the seizure and called on Iranian forces to release the ship immediately.

On Friday, India also issued a travel advisory to its citizens, asking them not to travel to Iran or Israel “until further notice”.

“Anyone currently residing in Iran or Israel is requested to contact the Indian embassies there and register,” the statement said, adding that they were requested to “observe utmost precautions regarding their safety and keep their movements to a minimum. “.

India has sent hundreds of construction workers to Israel to help the country boost its workforce after thousands of Palestinians left the country due to the ongoing war between Israel and Gaza.

On Monday, the Indian Express newspaper reported that India has decided to postpone sending a new batch of workers to Israel as it monitors the situation in the country.

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