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Five Indian Sailors Released from Seized Cargo Ship in Iran

May 10, 2024: In a diplomatic breakthrough, five Indian sailors held on board an Israeli-linked vessel seized by Iran have been released and departed the country, the Indian embassy in Iran announced today.

The Indian Embassy expressed its gratitude to Iranian authorities for their cooperation throughout this process. “We appreciate the Iranian authorities for their close coordination with the Embassy and Indian Consulate in Bandar Abbas,” said MEA official spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal.

Background of the Seizure

The cargo ship, MSC Aries, was seized by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy on April 13th near the Strait of Hormuz. At the time, 17 Indian nationals were among the crew.

Previously, one sailor, Ann Tessa Joseph from Kerala, was allowed to return to India on April 18th. The Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had assured that the remaining crew members were safe and would be released once their contractual obligations were fulfilled.

Ongoing Efforts for Remaining Crew

The MEA continues to work towards securing the release of the remaining 11 Indian sailors. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has spoken with his Iranian counterpart regarding their repatriation.

Tensions in the Region

The seizure of the MSC Aries comes amid heightened tensions between Iran and the West, fueled by the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.

This development offers a glimmer of hope for the remaining Indian sailors and their families. The Indian government’s continued diplomatic efforts are crucial for their safe return.

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