Afkham

Seizure of Maersk ship no violation of maritime rules: Iran

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham has defended as legal Iran’s decision to impound a cargo ship in the Persian Gulf, saying the vessel was seized by Iranian Navy forces based on a court decision.

“The move was in the framework of the laws and regulations of the Islamic Republic of Iran and [is] consistent with International regulations and protocols,” Afkham said on Wednesday.

Afkham expressed hope that the ship could be released soon after “its overdue debt is settled,” adding that the vessel is currently docked at the Bahonar Port near Bandar Abbas in south Iran.

She noted that all 24 crew members of various nationalities on board the ship are “in full health,” saying they can receive “unrestricted” consular services.

Earlier in the day, a spokesman for Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization said the seizure of Maersk Tigris on Tuesday was based on a court ruling issued on March 16, 2015, which reportedly came after a plaintiff sued the Maersk Line, the Danish company operating the ship, over unpaid debts.

Maersk said in a media statement on Wednesday that it is working with its partners to resolve the situation.

Maersk Tigris which was seized in the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf had trespassed on Iranian waters carrying the flag of the Marshal Islands, a pacific nation currently under US military protection.

According to IRNA, the ship’s captain is Bulgarian and the first mate is Russian. Other crewmembers include 13 nationals of Myanmar, 4 Romanians, one Ukrainian, one British national, two Sri Lankans, and a national of Poland.

By Press TV