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MSC Assures Safety Of 25 Crew Members Onboard Cargo Ship MSC Aries Seized By Iran

MSC Assures Safety Of 25 Crew Members Onboard Cargo Ship MSC Aries Seized By Iran
MI News Network April 18, 2024

A grave incident occurred on Saturday morning, 13 April 2024, involving the seizure of MSC Aries in the Strait of Hormuz.

So far, it is known that the MSC Aries, owned by Gortal Shipping Inc., was seized by Iran’s authorities in the Strait of Hormuz on 13 April as it sailed in international waters.

MSC has assured that the vessel’s 25 crew members are currently safe.

There are discussions ongoing with the relevant Iranian authorities to ensure their earliest release.

MSC is working with the Iranian authorities to have the cargo released.

MSC will continue providing regular and uninterrupted service on the Himalaya Express and other services operating in the region.

The detention in the Strait of Hormuz occurred days after Tehran promised to retaliate for an alleged Israeli strike on what it claims was a consulate building in Damascus on 1 April, which killed two IRGC generals and several other officials.

The escalating violence took place against the backdrop of the ongoing war in the Gaza Strip, begun by the Palestinian Hamas’ devastating 7 October attack on Israel, and that is working as a catalyst for regional tensions.

On Tuesday, The Portuguese foreign ministry summoned Iran’s ambassador to condemn Tehran’s attack on Israel on Saturday and call for the immediate release of the Portuguese-flagged ship.

Iran has also captured several vessels in international seas in recent years, increasing the risks for merchant ships in the region.

The Niovi, Advantage Sweet, and St Nikolas tankers, which were captured last year, were anchored in Iranian seas as of 12 April, according to Claire Jungman, the chief of staff at United Against Nuclear Iran, a US advocacy group that monitors Iran-related tanker movements via satellite data.

Iran’s foreign ministry reported on Monday that the MSC Aries was captured for violating maritime laws and that the vessel was undoubtedly related to Israel.

MSC charters the Aries from Gortal Shipping, a Zodiac Maritime subsidiary.

Zodiac is owned in part by the Israeli businessman Eyal Ofer.

Yemen’s Houthis have recently attacked merchant shipping in the waters of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, disrupting the global marine commerce chain.