Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman says Tehran has invited Indian experts to inspect the MT Desh Shanti oil tanker that was intercepted by the Iranian Navy for causing widespread pollution in the Persian Gulf.
Abbas Araqchi said on Saturday that on August 6 Iran received a warning from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) about MT Desh Shanti polluting Iranian waters.
The Iranian Navy then intercepted the tanker and guided the vessel towards Bandar Abbas Port, Araqchi said.
The Iranian spokesman added that the interception was for the purpose of preserving the environment of the Persian Gulf.
Araqchi expressed hope that in the light of good relations between Iran and India, the issue would be resolved as soon as possible.
MT Desh Shanti was carrying Iraqi oil through the Persian Gulf on its way to India last Tuesday.
“It was a Shipping Corp of India (SCI) vessel carrying Iraqi crude for us … it was detained by Iran authorities to check pollution,” Chairman of Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) S. Roy Choudhury said.
The director general for maritime pollution affairs at the Iranian Department of the Environment, Nima Pourang, told Fars news agency on Friday that the tanker had been detained because it discharged its oily ballast water 30 miles away from Iran’s Lavan Island in the Persian Gulf which caused a 10-mile-long oil slick on the sea.