Iran permits Indian officials to meet seized ship crew

Iran permits Indian officials to meet seized ship crew amid rising tensions with Israel
Iran permits Indian officials to meet seized ship crew

The Iranian foreign ministry announced on Monday that Indian government officials would be permitted to meet with the 17 Indian crew members aboard an Israel-linked cargo ship seized by Iran. This development came after India's External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar, expressed concern about the crew's well-being during a phone call with his Iranian counterpart, Amir Abdollahian.

In its statement, the Iranian foreign ministry stated that Minister Jaishankar had requested assistance regarding the matter. "Dr. Amir Abdollahian stated that we are actively investigating the details of the seized ship, and soon representatives of the Indian government will have the opportunity to meet with the crew," the statement read.

India has been engaging with Iran to secure the release of the crew members ever since the ship was captured on Saturday. Minister Jaishankar emphasized the importance of avoiding escalation and exercising restraint, particularly as tensions between Israel and Iran continue to rise.

Taking to social media, Minister Jaishankar shared, "Spoke to Iranian FM @Amirabdolahian this evening. Took up the release of 17 Indian crew members of MSC Aries. Discussed the current situation in the region. Stressed the importance of avoiding escalation, exercising restraint, and returning to diplomacy. Agreed to remain in touch."

The escalation between Israel and Iran intensified after Iran launched its first direct attack on Israel, firing hundreds of drones and missiles. This attack followed Israeli strikes on Iran's consulate in Syria, resulting in the deaths of seven Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards.

India has urged for immediate de-escalation and has instructed its embassies in the region to maintain close contact with the Indian community there. The Ministry of External Affairs stated, "We are seriously concerned about the escalation of hostilities between Israel and Iran, which threatens peace and security in the region. We call for immediate de-escalation, restraint, cessation of violence, and a return to diplomatic solutions."