Iran demanded $500,000 to free Indian oil tanker

Photo: Iran demanded $500,000 to free Indian oil tanker / Iran

Authorities at Iran's Bandar Abbas port demanded $500,000 from India to release the tanker which was carrying crude from Iraq, the Times of India reported.

Indian tanker Desh Shanti has been detained by Iran several weeks ago. Iran claimed to have detained the ship because of environmental concerns. Tehran authorities conveyed to India that the ship was polluting Iranian waters.

Head of Sea Pollution department of Iranian Environment protection organization, Nima Pourang said that the tanker discharged its oily ballast water 30 miles away from Lavan island in Persian Gulf, which caused a 10-mile length oil stain on the sea.

According to Times of India, the tanker has been held in Iran for 26 days.

Speaking of the $500,000 reportedly demanded by Iran from India, the money was not paid, and the ship was released last Friday night after Indian authorities gave an undertaking with Tehran that they would pay for the alleged pollution caused by Desh Shanti "should it be held accountable by an appropriate court of law".

Indicating possible legal action against Iran, the Centre has now filed an appeal with the Indian Ocean Memorandum of Understanding (IOMOU) on Port State Control - a 16-nation grouping of maritime nations - calling for a review of Iran's action.

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