Maersk Tigris - the seized containership, has been released after being held in detention by Iranian authorities for more than a week, IRNA reported citing a source at Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran.
The permission to release the ship has been granted after receiving a letter of guarantee for the enforcement of the judicial decision from Maersk Line.
PMO said in a statement:
“The Ports and Maritime Organization conferred with the Maersk Shipping Line and ensured the provision of a letter of guarantee for the enforcement of the judicial decision in this respect in the framework of mutual cooperation between the two countries, and the confidence to the good will of transport entities in fulfilling their obligations towards their clients. With the coordination and cooperation of other relevant enforcement and operational bodies, the required judicial permission was achieved and the mentioned vessel was finally released on May 7th, 2015.”
The story in brief for the last days:
Yesterday the official IRNA news agency said that a legal settlement could be reached soon over the seizure of the Maersk Tigris container ship in the Strait of Hormuz last month.
The Foreign Ministry spokesman Marzieh Afkham explained:
“The negotiations between the private complainant and the other party are going on and possibly the issue will be resolved in a day or two.”
Meanwhile, Iran's media said that the commercial ship most probably would be sold.
Hamid-Reza Jahanian, the managing director of Pars Tala'eyeh Oil Products Company, which was involved in the legal dispute with Denmark’s Maersk explained that the vessel and its cargo would be sold unless the Danish company pays the amount of $10 million, a value equal of the losses that his company had suffered and he added in the statement, that the ship would be released “upon the payment of the amount.”
Danish Maersk has insisted on the release of the Maersk Tigris and its 24 crew members, but Iran says the vessel would only be let go once a years-old debt case is settled. The crew members are still under Iranian supervision.
Representative of the Rickmers Shipmanagement, which manages the ship, said it was in contact with the Maersk Tigris crew.
“They are still on the ship and they have always been on board the vessel since the Iranians took custody of the ship,” he said.
Denmark’s shipping giant, said it had sent a letter of undertaking related to the case earlier last week, but would not elaborate on what that undertaking was or when the issue could be resolved.
From one side Rickmers, the Maersk Tigris ship operator, said that Maersk chartered the ship but the vessel is owned by undisclosed private investors. On the other side, Iranian official have repeatedly said the ship will not be released until the case is settled. The Maersk shipping company has argued as the Maersk Tigris has nothing to do with any legal proceedings.
Maersk have demanded to see the court documents by means of which the ship has been detained.
The previous week, U.S. Navy ships began accompanying U.S. commercial vessels, which were passing the Strait of Hormuz, because Iranian patrol boats shadowed the U.S.-registered Maersk Kensington.
On Tuesday this week, U.S. Navy stopped escorting U.S.-flagged ships after the last week Iran’s seizure of the Maersk cargo vessel.
According to Army Colonel Steve Warren, the Defense Department spokesman, U.S Navy ships will remain in the area conducting maritime operations and marine patrols, a U.S. destroyer is near the MV Maersk Tigris monitoring the seized cargo vessel.