India Secures Release Of Sole Woman Sailor From Seized Israeli-Linked Cargo Ship In Iran

India Secures Release Of Sole Woman Sailor From Seized Israeli-Linked Cargo Ship In Iran

The United States had condemned the Iranian seizure of the ‘British-owned ship’ demanding immediate release of the vessel and crew.

Dharmesh ThakkarUpdated: Friday, April 19, 2024, 12:05 AM IST
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X/ @MEA

In a major diplomatic coup, India secured the release and return of the sole woman sailor among the 17 Indian crew members held hostage onboard the Israeli-linked cargo ship MSC Aries seized by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in the Strait of Hormuz near Oman last week. 

The sailor Anna Tessa Joseph of Thrissur, Kerala returned safely home early Thursday morning after hectic back door diplomacy by Ministry of External Affairs led by former diplomat and Foreign Minister S Jaishankar with Iranian counterpart Amir Abdollahian. 

She was deck hand on board the Israeli-linked cargo vessel MSC Aries enroute to Nhava Sheva that was seized by the Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. India secured her released after  parlays with Iranian government and was received by the regional passport officer on landing at Kochi airport. 

“Indian Mission in Tehran is in constant touch with the remaining 16 Indian crew members. They are all in good health and in contact with their respective families in India,” said MEA statement. 

Hostage Release And Vessel Seizure In Strait Of Hormuz

MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal also shared details of Joseph's release saying that she flew back to her homeland with the support of Iranian authorities.

The Portuguese flagged, British-owned MSC AIRES in international waters with 25 crew members of Indian, Filipino, Pakistani, Russian & Estonian nationals was seized by the Sepah (Guards) Navy Special Forces of Iran near the Strait Of Hormuz. 

The container ship is linked  to London-based Zodiac Maritime, which is a part of Israeli billionaire shipping tycoon Eyal Ofer. 

“The vessel was last located off Dubai heading toward the Strait of Hormuz on April 12 and has turned off its tracking data,” confirmed a senior Indian Navy official. 

Iran's IRGC Designation As A Terrorist Organisation

Iran confirmed that Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) commandos had taken over the vessel and are redirecting it to Iranian waters.

The United States had condemned the Iranian seizure of the ‘British-owned ship’ demanding immediate release of the vessel and crew. 

“Seizing a civilian vessel without provocation is a blatant violation of international law, and an act of piracy by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps,” said White House spokesperson Adrienne Watson in a media statement. 

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