Seeking External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s help Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Saturday urged Centre to direct authorities to secure the release of 18 Indian sailors on board a UK registered oil tanker ‘Stena Impero’ that was seized by Iranian revolutionary guards on July 19 at the strait of Hormuz.
In a letter to Jaishankar, which was tweeted by the CM, Palaniswami said 27-year-old Adithyaa Vasudevan who hails from Chennai was taken into custody along with 22 other sailors when their ship was seized. A total of 18 Indian sailors are currently detained by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.
Text of the D.O. letter dated 03.08.2019 of Thiru Edappadi K.Palaniswami, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu addressed to @DrSJaishankar Hon’ble Minister of External Affairs, New Delhi. pic.twitter.com/TyvvKtPPHP
— Edappadi K Palaniswami (@CMOTamilNadu) August 3, 2019
Palaniswami said Vasudevan, working in the ship named ‘Stena Impero’ as Third Officer, was sailing from Fujairah, UAE to Jubail, Saudi Arabia when the ship was seized at the Strait of Hormuz.
Owned by a Swedish company, Sten Bulk, the ship was flying the British flag when it was seized by Iran. UK officials say they believe that the seizure by Iran was in retaliation for the seizure of an Iranian tanker ‘Grace 1’ off Gibraltar by British forces last month.
The incident comes at a time when the tensions between Iran, and US and its allies seem to be growing due to the Iran nuclear deal.