TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior official said that the Indian oil tanker, MT Desh Shanti, which was intercepted by the Iranian Navy as it was carrying Iraqi oil through the Persian Gulf can leave the country after presenting the necessary guarantees to the Iranian Ports and Maritime Organization and compensating through its protection and indemnity (P&I) insurance coverage.
“As soon as the Indian oil tanker provides the necessary guarantees it can continue its path because technical issues have been specified and the oil tanker has been notified of it …,” Head of Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization Ataollah Sadr told FNA on Wednesday.
“Of course the compensation will be paid by the insurance company and Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization will clean the polluted area and the oil tanker has nothing special to do,” he added.
Last month, Deputy Managing-Director of Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization Seyed Ali Stiri told FNA that MT Desh Shanti should compensate through its P&I insurance coverage for the pollution it has caused.
“According to the international maritime law, the oil tanker should pay through its P&I insurance for the damage it has caused by polluting the Persian Gulf waters and also provide the necessary guarantees in this regard to the Iranian Ports and Maritime Organization,” Stiri said.
On August 13, the Iranian Navy intercepted the Indian oil tanker on its way to India. The vessel was carrying 140,000 tons of Basrah crude from Iraq to India.
“It was a Shipping Corp of India (SCI) vessel carrying Iraqi crude for us … it was detained by Iran authorities to check pollution,” Chairman of Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) S Roy Chaudhury said.
The Director General for maritime pollution affairs at the Iranian Department of the Environment, Nima Pourang, told FNA that the tanker had been detained because it discharged its oily ballast water 30 miles away from Iran’s Lavan Island in the Persian Gulf which caused a 10-mile-long oil slick on the sea.
Yet, some western media alleged that Iran had seized the ship due to political motives.
In response, former Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Araqchi rejected the western media reports, stressing that the move was a routine practice and done in accordance with international regulations.
“The ship has been detained by Iranian naval forces for causing widespread pollution in the Persian Gulf,” Araqchi said.
The Iranian foreign ministry spokesman stressed that the inspection of the Indian oil tanker was not at all due to political reasons.
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