Impounded Maersk Ship Released

Impounded Maersk Ship ReleasedImpounded Maersk Ship Released

The container ship Maersk Tigris, which had been impounded by the naval forces of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) last month in the Strait of Hormuz and diverted to the port city of Bandar Abbas, was released on Thursday.

"The ship left our country's territorial waters today, with the crew in full health," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Marzieh Afkham was quoted by Fars news agency as saying on the same day.

The Marshall-Islands flagged vessel had been seized based on a local court ruling over an outstanding debt the Maersk Shipping Line, the vessel's charterer, owed to a domestic complainant.

The foreign ministry had defended the action as "legal" and in accordance with "international regulations and protocols," announcing later that the cargo ship would be released after the debt case with the ship's charterer is settled.

Rickmers Group, the operator and manager of the ship, released a statement on Thursday confirming the release.

"Rickmers Group is pleased to report today its managed container vessel Maersk Tigris with 24 crew members on board has been officially released by Iranian authorities following an order from the court in Bandar Abbas," the statement said.

"Earlier Maersk Line put up a security in relation to the underlying court case. All crew are in a good condition. The news has been conveyed to the families of the seafarers."

Maersk Line said in a separate statement that "the release follows a constructive dialogue with the Iranian authorities, including the Ports and Maritime Organization, and the provision of a letter of undertaking in relation to the underlying cargo case."

"We will continue our dialogue with the aim to fully resolve the cargo case."

Rickmers said the vessel would continue on its scheduled voyage to the port of Jebel Ali in the United Arab Emirates where company representatives would attend the crew and the vessel, Reuters reported.