Indonesia releases Iranian oil tanker confiscated after four months | Shipping news


The Iranian ship was confiscated due to the alleged illegal transfer of oil to Indonesian waters.

Tehran, Iran – Iran says Indonesia has released its oil tanker which it confiscated in late January after concluding legal proceedings.

The National Iranian Tanker Company said in a statement that MT Horse and its crew were released on Friday after 125 days, as the efforts of senior Iranian officials and the country’s foreign ministry bore fruit.

“Despite suffering many hardships and being away from family, MT Horse’s professional and committed staff persevered in defending national interests and maintaining the flow of oil and exports of its derivatives,” the state-owned company said.

The ship has resumed its mission in the region and will return to Iranian waters upon completion, it added.

Indonesia said its Coast Guard seized the Iranian-flagged vessel, in addition to the Panamanian-flagged MT Freya, for the alleged illegal transfer of oil into its waters.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry at the time downplayed the confiscation, saying it was a “technical problem” and that such incidents are not uncommon in shipping.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif traveled to Indonesia in April and met with senior officials, including President Joko Widodo. But after the meeting, he and the foreign ministry made no mention of the ship, saying they talked about strengthening bilateral ties and opposing U.S. unilateral sanctions on Iran.

A major target of harsh US sanctions is Iranian oil exports, and Iran disguises its transfers through a variety of methods, including disabling its oil tankers ’tracking systems.

MT Horse was used last year to supply 2.1 million barrels of condensate to other U.S.-sanctioned Venezuelans.

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