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Indian tanker leaves Iran after 26 days

New Delhi, September 7, 2013, PTI: 1:56 IST
Having been in detention for nearly 26 days at Iran’s Bandar Abbas Port, the Indian oil tanker MT Desh Shanti has finally been allowed to leave, two days after the central Iranian authorities ordered its release.

“The MT Desh Shanti was finally released at 2345 hours (IST) on September 6 and the vessel sailed out from Bander Abbas after receiving her documents,” official sources told PTI on Saturday.

The vessel, having a capacity to carry 1,40,000 tonnes of crude, was detained by Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in Persian Gulf while carrying crude from Basrah in Iraq on August 12 citing environmental and pollution concerns and taken to Bandar Abbas.

Meanwhile, a top Shipping Ministry official said: “She sailed last night after being finally released from detention. We have not paid anything. Only normal LoU (an undertaking as per practice).”

After over a three-week-long stand-off, Iran had ordered the release of the tanker but it was not allowed to leave with local authorities at Bandar Abbas claiming that they had not received the order.

India had strongly objected to the detention, saying it was a “colourable” exercise in transgression of UN Convention on the Laws of the Sea and warning of serious ramifications.

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