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Iran’s foreign minister has confirmed that the crew of a seized Portuguese-flagged ship linked to Israel have been granted consular access and are expected to be freed soon. 

In a recent development, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian communicated to his Portuguese counterpart, Paulo Rangel, that resolving the humanitarian concerns regarding the ship’s crew was a priority. During a phone call reported by Iranian media, Amirabdollahian assured that the crew would soon be released to their respective ambassadors in Tehran, although the exact timeline for this handover remains unspecified.

Msc Aries Seizure

This comes after the Iranian Revolutionary Guards captured the container vessel MSC Aries in the Strait of Hormuz on April 13, amid heightened tensions following Tehran’s threats of retaliation for an alleged Israeli attack on its consulate in Damascus. Iran has since maintained that the ship was impounded due to “violating maritime laws,” and noted it had connections to Israel.

The MSC Aries is currently leased from Gortal Shipping, a subsidiary of Zodiac Maritime, which Israeli businessman Eyal Ofer partly owns.  


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