Iran reveals that crew of Israel-linked ship freed

Iran has released the crew of a seized Portuguese-flagged ship linked to Israel, but continues to stay in hold, of the vessel itself, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian conveyed.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards seized the container ship MSC Aries, with a crew of 25, in the Strait of Hormuz on April 13, days after Tehran pledged, to retaliate for a suspected Israeli strike on its consulate in Damascus. Iran had said it could close the important shipping route.

“The seized ship, which turned off its radar in Iran’s territorial waters and jeopardized the safety of navigation, is under judicial detention,” Amirabdollahian revealed, according to a foreign ministry post on X late Thursday night.

He revealed that the release of the crew should be considered as a humanitarian move, made and they had the opportunity to come back to their nations along with the ship’s captain. Iran’s foreign ministry had earlier said the Aries was seized for “violating maritime laws” and that there was no doubt it was connected to Israel.

MSC leases the Aries from Gortal Shipping, an affiliate of Zodiac Maritime, which is half owned by Israeli businessman Eyal Ofer.