No headway on the issue of detained Indian tanker in Iran

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Iran
New Delhi, Aug 24: The issue of detention of an Indian oil tanker by Iranian authorities at Bandar Abbas port remained unresolved with the deadlock stretching to the 13th day.

"The government machinery, including the Indian Embassy in Tehran, Ministries of Shipping and External Affairs are trying to convince the Iranian authorities that no pollution was caused by the vessel but unfortunately there is no progress," a Shipping Ministry official said.

A top official of the Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) also said that "efforts by an Indian team, which was camping there, to convince Iranian authorities that no pollution was caused by our team have failed to make any impact so far." MT Desh Shanti, an oil tanker belonging to the country's largest ocean liner SCI was detained by Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) on August 12 in Persian Gulf and taken to Bandar Abbas port, while carrying crude from Basrah in Iraq.

A team, which included a surveyor from Indian Register of Shipping, which is an internationally recognised independent ship classification society, founded in India in 1975, and a senior SCI official was sent by the Director General of Shipping to Bandar Abbas port to inspect the vessel.

The team had, after inspection, verified that no pollution was caused by the tanker with a capacity to carry 1,40,00O tonnes of crude. Earlier, spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs said, "We have been in touch constantly with Iran on this issue. Despite intensive discussions, we have not yet made any progress.

The matter is being pursued vigorously by our embassy in Tehran." He added that the ministry was working towards the successful outcome of the "delicate" situation. The Iranian authorities had expressed environment concerns and alleged that the vessel was causing pollution, a charge denied by Indian officials.

PTI

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