CHENNAI: Hours after Chief Minister K Palaniswami urged the Centre to secure the release of 18 Indian sailors from Iran, including one from Tamil Nadu, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday assured their early repatriation.
The Union Minister said the Centre was working with Iranian authorities to secure the release of 18 Indian crew members of vessel Stena Impero, whose sailors were detained by Iran when their British-flagged ship was transiting the Strait of Hormuz.
Mr Palaniswami, in a letter to Mr Jaishankar earlier, said Adithyaa Vasudevan, 27, from Chennai and working as a third officer in the ship was taken into custody by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard on July 19, along with 22 other sailors, 18 of whom are Indians.
They were detained when their United Kingdom registered ship was sailing from Fujairah, United Arab Emirates to Jubail, Saudi Arabia, he said.
Adithyaa Vasudevan’s father has represented to the government seeking his early release and repatriation.
“I request your good office to direct the authorities concerned and secure the immediate release and repatriation of Adithyaa Vasudevan and other sailors to India,” the Chief Minister said.
Responding, Mr Jaishankar in his Twitter handle said: “We are focussed on the early release and repatriation of all 18 Indian crew members of Stena Impero. Officers of our Embassy in Tehran have met them and they seem to be in good health with adequate supplies. We remain in constant contact with Iranian authorities to resolve this.”
The narrow Strait of Hormuz is considered strategic linking the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman and is widely used for ferrying oil cargo.
Lately, there have been media reports of Iran allegedly seizing vessels transiting the channel triggering tension between it and western nations.