MSC Aries: Representatives of the Indian Embassy in Iran Will Soon Meet With 17 Sailors on Board Seized Ship

According to EAM S Jaishankar on Monday, he informed his Iranian counterpart that the 17 Indian crew members of the MSC Aries, who have been taken prisoner by the Iran Revolutionary Guards, must “return to India as soon as possible.”
The 17 Indian crew members aboard the Portugal-flagged cargo ship MSC Aries, which was taken by the Iran Revolutionary Guards before it could reach its destination, the Nhava Sheva Port in Mumbai, are scheduled to meet with representatives of the Indian Embassy in Iran shortly. Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar stated on Monday that he has spoken to his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amirabdollahian his desire for Tehran to release the sailors and return them to India “as soon as possible.”

According to Jaishankar, he also advised Iran not to intensify the current hostilities with Israel. He further stated that the crisis would have a negative effect on the entire world, but especially on India because of the country’s large diaspora in West Asia and the fact that most Indian crude is imported through the sea lanes that are located in the region where the crisis is developing.

“The ship, MSC Aries, was flying the Portuguese flag. It was occupied by an Iranian military force. After then, the ship was ordered to head for Iran. I pushed my Iranian colleague during our conversation, pointing out that there are 17 Indian crew members, and we are advocating to the Iranian authorities for their release.

“There had been some follow-up conversations between our Embassy and the Iranian authorities after that,” he continued. The first thing that will satisfy me is for our Embassy representatives to visit there and interact with these folks. Second, I will do everything in my power to ensure that these individuals return to India as soon as possible. In this regard, my Iranian colleague was really accommodating.

Following Iran’s direct attack on Israel on Saturday using missiles and drones, which heightened tensions in West Asia—which has already seen a hot war between Israel and Hamas since October 2023—Jaishankar spoke with Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, the Iranian Foreign Minister.

The cargo ship, linked to Israeli businessman Eyal Ofer, was taken by Iran off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. Additionally, the crew included members from Estonia, Pakistan, Pakistan, and the Philippines.

In a statement provided by the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Amirabdollahian said that they are “actively monitoring the situation concerning the seized ship, and arrangements will soon be made for representatives of the Indian government to meet with the crew members of the vessel in question” to Jaishankar over the phone.

Iran claims that because the ship broke maritime laws, they had to confiscate it.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser said, “The vessel was diverted into Iran’s territorial waters as a result of violating maritime laws and not answering calls made by Iranian authorities.”

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“Told them to calm down; Iran-Israel Tensions Can’t Be Allowed To Escalate.”
Jaishankar claims that he has discussed with his Israeli and Iranian counterparts that given the region’s importance to the stability of both the Indian and global economies, the tensions between them—which have increased since Iran attacked Israel directly—should not worsen.

We have been pleading with them both not to let this become worse. This area is extremely important to the world economy. Approximately 90 lakh Indian citizens currently reside in this region of the world.

Our oil originates from this region of the world, and a significant portion of our shipping travels through it. Since this is a particularly delicate area, any form of animosity or escalation raises serious concerns. Thus, we’ve been trying to tell them both to stop acting so crazy,” Jaishankar added.

Jaishankar spoke over the phone with Israel Katz, the minister of foreign affairs, and Amirabdollahian on Sunday as tensions between Iran and Israel increased.

“We also recognize that they are worried. I’m only expressing that we should look for methods to defuse the situation for the benefit of everyone, especially India,” he continued.

However, Iran has stated that India ought to play.

However, even as Tehran seeks “a sustainable ceasefire in Gaza and the establishment of peace and security across the region, extending from the Mediterranean coast to the Red Sea,” Tehran has stated that India should play its part in the UN and work to “halt the war in Gaza.”

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