Iran released nine out of twelve Indians on board the ship MT Riah arrested in early July, official sources said Thursday. However, twenty-one Indians are still in custody in Iran — three from the Indian Embassy on Thursday were given consular access to the eighteen Indians on board Impero.
In addition, 24 Indian crew members who were on board the shipping vessel ‘ Grace 1 ‘ arrested by Gibraltar police authorities are also being arrested. The ships have been confiscated in the midst of continuing tensions between Iran and the US since Washington started re-imposing sanctions on Tehran. Indian officials have encountered the 24 Indian crew members who were on board the shipping vessel ‘ Grace 1 ‘ and assured their release
An Indian High Commission team in London met with the Indian crew and employees on board VLCC Grace 1 on Wednesday, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said.”Crew’s morale is high. Assured of all early release help. HCI London will facilitate the required travel document and associated agreements, “tweeted the minister. MEA Speaker Raveesh Kumar, at a press briefing here, said India had sought consular access granted on Wednesday and a three-member team visited and met all the 24 crew memb ers. “What we saw was that the crew members were very calm, very composed, and there was no feeling of panic. They had been in frequent contact with their family members.
Giving an update on 18 Indians on board the British oil tanker Stena Impero confiscated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard last week, Muraleedharan said the Tehran embassy had consular access to the Indians. All of them are okay, said the minister, adding that India will continue to press for their early discharge.