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Indians on board British ship seized by Iran

July 21, 2019

The fate of Indian crew members aboard a British oil tanker seized by Iran on Saturday is unknown. The company that owns the vehicle said that the ship is no longer under the control of the crew and is uncontactable.

In a statement, ship authorities said, "There have been no reported injuries and the safety and welfare of our crew remain our primary focus". The 23 people on board are of Indian, Russian, Latvian and Filipino nationalities. Iran seized the British tanker and stopped another for "violating international regulations."

Iran announced that it has seized a British tanker Steno Impero. Later, an official of the United States government said that Iran had seized a second tanker, MV Masdar. The Masdar was allowed to continue after Iranian officials followed up with the ship on its environmental regulations.

All crew are safe and well. Communication has been re-established with the vessel and Master confirmed that the armed guards have left and the vessel is free to continue the voyage. - Norbulk Shipping UK

The United Kingdom government has spoken out against the Iran government's move. "These seizures are unacceptable. It is essential that freedom of navigation is maintained and that all ships can move safely and freely in the region."

United States President Donald Trump also said that this proves Iran is nothing but trouble. "This only goes to show what I'm saying about Iran. Trouble. Nothing but trouble. It goes to show you I was right about Iran. The US has very few tankers going in because we're using a lot of our own energy"..

This is the second time in two months that Iran has attempted to seize a British oil tanker. Earlier, armed Iranian boats unsuccessfully tried to seize a British oil tanker in the Persian Gulf.

This comes amid rising tensions between Iran and the US triggered by US' move to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) last year, blaming Iran for backing terrorism and conflicts.

The pact was signed by five countries- the US, the UK, Russia, China and Germany, and the European Union - with the aim of limiting Iran's civilian energy programme, and preventing it from developing nuclear weapons at some point in the future. This was in return for relief from sanctions that were damaging Iran's economy.



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