Iranian naval authorities have detained the Indian oil tanker, MT Desh Shanti, after it was allegedly found to be polluting Iranian waters. The vessel, a Suezmax tanker with a capacity of 1 million bbls. of crude oil, is India’s largest ocean liner and was carrying a cargo of Iraqi crude.
The event comes at a politically sensitive time when, as a result of the threat of US and EU sanctions, India is working to reduce its dependency on imports from Iran. Iraq and Iran have long had tense diplomatic relations, and Iraq’s resurgent oil industry (rebounding from decades of neglect and war damage) is a growing competitor for global market share that Iran is finding increasingly difficult to match.
B.K. Mandal, Chairman of Shipping Corp. of India Ltd (the company that owns the vessel) released the following statement, “They have detained one of our tankers. Iranian authorities have alleged that it was polluting their water, which is absolutely wrong … The ship was not in the vicinity of Iranian water.”
Mandal also stated that the ship had been boarded by Iranian officials was being sailed to an Iranian port, possible Bandar Abbas.
Edited from various sources by David Bizley
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