Iran has reiterated that the detention of an Indian oil tanker was “purely a technical and non political issue” and refuted media reports that sought to convey a political angle to the incident.
Officials of the shipping authorities of the two countries were engaged in “constructive and positive interaction” to resolve it according to the international law as soon as possible. Diplomatic channels of the two countries were involved in supporting this interaction, said a statement from the Iranian Embassy here.
Iran had clarified that it detained MT Desh Shanti after the Bahrain-based Marine Emergency Mutual Aid Centre, a regional agency monitoring marine pollution, raised an oil spill alarm.
The tanker was on its way to India from Iraq, carrying Iraqi oil contracted by Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited.
As The Hindu had reported, Nima Pourang, head of the Sea Pollution department in the Iranian environment protection organisation, has alleged the tanker had discharged “oily ballast water” 48 km away from Lavan Island in the Persian Gulf, causing a 16-km-long “oil stain.’’
But, a report in Bahraini daily Gulf Daily News said investigation by the Shipping Corporation of India did not show any proof of oil spill.