HomeGlobal Defence UpdatesIran seizes Israel-linked ship with 17 Indians onboard

Iran seizes Israel-linked ship with 17 Indians onboard

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Iran’s Revolutionary Guardson Saturday seized an Israeli-linked cargo ship in the Strait of Hormuz bound for India with 17 Indian nationals on board, days after Tehran warned it could close the area to sea traffic.

India is constantly monitoring the situation and is in touch with relevant authorities. Sources said, “We are aware that a cargo ship ‘MSC Aries’ has been taken under control by Iran. We have learnt that there are 17 Indian nationals onboard. We are in touch with the Iranian authorities through diplomatic channels, both in Tehran and in Delhi, to ensure security, welfare and early release of Indian nationals.”

The development comes amid possible Iranian strikes against Israel following the Israeli attack on the Iranian Embassy in Damascus.

A Guards helicopter had boarded and taken into Iranian waters the Portuguese flagged MSC Aries.

The Aries is leased by international shipping line MSC from Grotal Shipping, an affiliate of Zodiac Maritime, Zodiac said in a statement. Zodiac is partly owned by Israeli businessman Eyal Ofer. On Tuesday, the naval head of the Revolutionary Guards, Alireza Tangsiri, threatened to close the Straits of Hormuz.

Since the start of Israel’s campaign in Gaza in October, Israel and the United States have clashed repeatedly with Iranian-aligned groups in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen. Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi group has disrupted global trade with attacks on shipping in the Red Sea for months.Sources here told ET that Israel-Iranian tension amid the Gaza crisis has cast a major shadow on Indian energy and economic interests in the region. The Gulf also hosts nearly 10 million Indian diaspora.

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