New Delhi, July 22: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday said the Indian embassy in Tehran is in "constant contact" with the Iranian authorities for the release and repatriation of 18 Indian crew members on board oil tanker Stena Impero that was seized by Iranian revolutionary guards. In a tweet, responding to concerns raised by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Jaishankar said that the MEA is working for the release of the Indian sailors.
"TeamMEA is already working on the early release & repatriation of all 18 Indian crew members of Stena Impero. Our Embassy in Tehran is in constant contact with Iranian authorities to resolve this. We will keep you posted on further developments," he said. The EAM tagged a tweet by the office of the Kerala Chief Minister, who said that four Malayalis were on board the oil tanker. Iran Demands Britain Release Oil Tanker Held in Gibraltar.
"Media reports have indicated that the crew of the British tanker seized by Iran includes 4 Malayalis. Following this, CM Pinarayi Vijayan has contacted the Union Government. He has also sent a message to Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, the Minister of External Affairs GoI," said the tweet by the Kerala Chief Minister's office.
Eighteen Indians, including the ship's captain, are among the 23 crew members of the British-flagged Stena Impero seized by Iran's Revolutionary Guard forces in the Strait of Hormuz on Friday.
On Saturday, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had said that further details of the incident are being ascertained. "Our Mission is in touch with the Government of Iran to secure the early release and repatriation of Indian nationals."
On Sunday, the Kerala Chief Minister had urged the Centre to make all efforts to secure the release of the Indian nationals. In a letter to the External Affairs Minister, he asked the ministry to share the details of the persons aboard the ship so that their families could be helped.