Iran seizes cargo ship ‘MSC Aries’ with 17 Indian nationals onboard

The cargo vessel, MSC Aries, fell into Iranian hands amidst mounting geopolitical tensions. The MEA revealed that they are in constant communication with Iranian authorities, both in Tehran and Delhi, to secure the welfare of the Indian crew members and facilitate their prompt return. 

| Updated: 14 April, 2024 4:49 pm IST
Iran has seized control of the cargo ship 'MSC Aries,' which reportedly had 17 Indian nationals among its crew

NEW DELHI: In a tense escalation of regional tensions, Iran has seized control of the cargo ship ‘MSC Aries,’ which reportedly had 17 Indian nationals among its crew. Sources in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) confirmed the incident, stating that diplomatic efforts are underway to ensure the safety and swift release of the Indian nationals onboard.

The cargo vessel, MSC Aries, fell into Iranian hands amidst mounting geopolitical tensions. The MEA revealed that they are in constant communication with Iranian authorities, both in Tehran and Delhi, to secure the welfare of the Indian crew members and facilitate their prompt return.

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The seizure of the MSC Aries, affiliated with Israeli interests, marks a significant development in the ongoing strife between Iran and its adversaries. The vessel’s Portuguese flag and association with Israeli businessman Eyal Ofer’s Zodiac Maritime have heightened concerns about the safety of its crew amid escalating hostilities in the region.

Reports indicate that the MSC Aries was en route to the port of Nhava Sheva in Mumbai, India, with its expected arrival scheduled for the night of April 15. However, the vessel’s journey was abruptly interrupted by Iranian forces, raising international alarm over the safety of the crew and the implications for maritime security in the strategically vital Gulf of Hormuz.

The seizure comes in the wake of heightened tensions between Iran and Israel, with recent Israeli airstrikes on Iranian installations in Syria triggering retaliatory threats from Tehran. The looming specter of a wider conflict in the region has put the international community on edge, prompting urgent diplomatic efforts to de-escalate the situation and safeguard regional stability.

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As the situation continues to unfold, Indian authorities remain vigilant, closely monitoring developments and working tirelessly to ensure the safety and security of their citizens caught in the crossfire of escalating geopolitical tensions in the Middle East.

In light of the current volatile situation in the region, yesterday Indian government issued a travel advisory urging its citizens to refrain from traveling to Iran or Israel until further notice. The advisory, dated April 12, 2024, comes amidst escalating tensions and security concerns in both countries. Indians currently residing in Iran or Israel are advised to contact the nearest Indian Embassies and register themselves for assistance. Additionally, they are urged to exercise utmost caution regarding their safety and limit their movements to essential activities only.

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