Indonesia releases seized Iranian oil tanker

May 29, 2021 - 13:8

TEHRAN - Iranian-flagged VLCC Horse, belonging to the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC), which was detained by Indonesian authorities in late January, was released on Friday and will return to Iran after completing its mission.

Indonesian maritime authorities had detained Horse and a Chinese-operated VLCC claiming them to be conducting ship-to-ship transfer in a prohibited area.

Indonesia’s coast guard spokesman had claimed the two tankers concealed their identity by not showing their national flags, turning off automatic identification systems, and did not respond to a radio call.

According to the NITC, the vessel has been released following effective communication between the two sides’ authorities for clearing the issue.

Following the seizure, Saeed Khatibzadeh, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, had said that Iran is “waiting for more reports from the Indonesian government on the seizure of the Iranian oil tanker.”

Speaking in a press conference on January 25, Khatibzadeh said the seizure of the Iranian tanker “was a technical issue and there have been such incidents in the shipping lines before.”

Khatibzadeh noted the Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) and the ship owner company were looking to investigate the reasons for the seizure to resolve it.

“The Iranian embassy and the Iranian Ministry of Transport and Urban Development are pursuing the issue,” he added.

EF/MA

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