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Iran releases Marshall Islands-flagged cargo ship

7 May 2015 13:24


Iran has released a Marshall Islands-flagged cargo ship recently impounded in the Persian Gulf by Iranian forces, Press TV reports.

An informed source at the Iranian Ports and Maritime Organization (IPMO) told Press TV on Thursday that the Maersk Tigris ship has been released.

Earlier in the day, IRNA had also reported that the IPMO will issue a statement in a matter of hours on the details of the ship’s release.

On April 28, Iranian forces boarded the Maersk Tigris ship carrying the Marshall Islands flag in the Strait of Hormuz.

A cargo ship operated by the Maersk Line container shipping company, which is part of the Maersk Group headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, is seen in the file photo.
Since the seizure of the vessel, several Iranian officials have said the case was a purely commercial affair.

A day after the ship was impounded, Iran’s Foreign Ministry defended the move as legal saying the vessel was seized based on a court decision.

IPMO said on the same day that the seizure of Maersk Tigris was based on a court ruling issued on March 16, which reportedly came after a plaintiff sued the Maersk Line over unpaid debts.

Hamid Reza Jahanian, the managing director of the Pars Talayieh oil products company, which had filed a lawsuit against the Maersk Line container shipping company, told Fars News Agency on May 2 that the reason behind the seizure was the damage inflicted upon Pars Talayieh by Maersk Line, which is part of the Maersk Group headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Jahanian said the case dates back to 2003 when Maersk was responsible for the transport of containers sent by Pars Talayieh to the port of Jebel Ali, the United Arab Emirates, but the cargo was not delivered to the customer.

If Maersk Line pays damages to the Iranian company, Jahanian stated, the ship will be released, otherwise the vessel or the goods it transports will be put up for auction.

Maersk Line says it was told by IPMO on April 29 that an Iranian court had ordered the company to pay USD 3.6 million (about 3.2 million euros) in compensation in the case.

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