Iran ships held in Singapore released
Iranian Commerce Minister Mehdi Ghazanfari says three Iranian vessels impounded in Singapore due to "financial problems" have been freed.
"Iranian ships, which were seized in Singapore because of the financial problems caused by the Westerners were released minutes ago," Fars news agency quoted Ghazanfari as saying on Wednesday, Press TV reported.
He further explained that the vessels were freed after the problems were resolved.
On Sunday, Chairman of the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) Mohammad Dajmar said three Iranian vessels, named Tochal, Sahand and Sabalan, were put up for auction in Singapore by an order from the French bank Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank in December 2010.
The vessels were released after their 200 million dollars loan from the French bank was paid off, he added.
"The USD 200 million was the remainder of a loan received from a French bank, but they claim that since these ships did not have creditable insurance, the status of the loan was changed to an overdue debt," Dajmar said, a Press TV correspondent reported.
The UN Security Council imposed a fourth round of US-engineered sanctions against Iran's financial and military sectors in June amid a standoff fueled by Western allegations that Tehran is following a military nuclear program.
Shortly afterwards, Washington and its allies imposed unilateral sanctions against Iran's financial, energy, banking and shipping sectors.
Iran has repeatedly refuted US-led allegations, maintaining its nuclear program is purely aimed at civilian purposes, including medical research and meeting the ever-increasing energy demands at home.