Iran to free detained Indian ship

By Vessels

The Indian oil tanker MT Desh Shanti, transporting 140,000 tonnes of Basrah crude from Iraq to India, is known that is detained by Iranian authorities for pollution. Tehran wanted a guarantees (money) to release the vessel. But according to sources a decision has been made and the ship will be free soon.

The Indian tanker is in Iran since Aug 12, detained in the Persian Gulf by Iranian authorities. The owner of the ship, the Shipping Corp of India (SCI) does not agree with the allegations.

Iran's Ports and Maritime Organization chief Ataollah Sadr informed the Indian oil tanker MT Desh Shanti is now free to go to India after "presenting the necessary guarantees to the Iranian Ports and Maritime Organization and compensating through its protection and indemnity (P&I) insurance coverage".

Nima Pourang, director general for maritime pollution affairs at Tehran informed Fars explained the reasons why the ship was 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.

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Seyed Abbas Araqchi has denied information from the media that the decision was political. It is known that Indian import of oil from Iran dropped because of the US and EU sanctions on Tehran for its alleged nuclear weapons programme.

Araqchi denied allegations and told that the inspection of the Indian tanker was not at all due to political reasons.

India's imports of crude oil dropped from 18.1 million tonnes to 13.3 million tonnes in 2012-13, a fall of about 26.5 %.

More: India refuses to pay $1 m guarantee to Iran to free tanker