New Delhi: India has been given consular access for 24 Indian sailors who were taken into custody after an Iranian tanker was detained by British authorities. The Iranian tanker, Grace 1, was detained off the coast of British Territory Gibraltar for allegedly carrying oil to Syria that would have violated sanctions on the country.
The access was given on Wednesday and a three-member team from Indian mission in London met all 24 crew members. Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson, Raveesh Kumar, said, "Crew members were calm and composed and they didn't panic." The Indian diplomats assured that the Indian government will take all necessary steps for their early release and repatriation.
On the 18 Indians onboard the UK oil tanker Stena Impero detained by Iran, Indian government is still trying to get access.
Earlier this week, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale met Iranian Ambassador in Delhi and the Indian Ambassador in Tehran also had meetings with senior officials of Iranian Foreign Ministry regarding the issue. Stena Impero was detained two weeks ago for "failing to respect international maritime rules", according to Iranian authorities.