Detained Iranian Oil Tanker Released After 4 Months
Indonesia has released an Iranian oil tanker and its 36-man crew after more than four months in custody, Tehran officials said on Saturday. According to the state-run National Iranian Tanker Company, which operates the vessel, the MT Horse will now resume its mission in the region and later return home to Iranian waters. “Despite undergoing many hardships and being away from family, the professional and committed personnel of MT Horse persevered in the defense of national interests and maintaining the flow of oil,” the company said. Indonesia’s coast guard seized the ship in January, along with the Panamanian-flagged, Chinese-run MT Freya, for illegally transferring oil through its waters. While both ships were allowed to leave over the weekend, their captains did receive suspended jail sentences, Jakarta officials said. Due to United States sanctions, Iran has in recent years been forced to conceal its oil sales and shipments, and regularly disables its tankers’ tracking equipment.