Iran Says India Given 'Consular Access' to Crew of Detained British Vessel

'Similar access is underway to other 5 crew from other nationalities,' Iranian envoy to Britain says

British oil tanker Stena Impero at unknown location, which is believed to have been captured by Iran, July 19, 2019.
Stena Bulk / AP

Iran granted India consular access to 18 Indian crew members of the detailed British vessel Stena Impero, the Iranian ambassador to Britain said.

"Indian Embassy in Tehran was granted consular access to meet the 18 Indian crew of the detained British ship Stena Impero," Hamid Baeidinejad said.

"Similar access is underway to other 5 crew from other nationalities. Indian embassy has reported to find the crew being very calm with no sense of panic." 

On Wednesday, Britain sent a mediator to Iran to discuss the freeing of the tanker, the semi-official Tasnim news site cited the head of the Supreme Leader’s office as saying.

Tensions have spiked between Iran and Britain since the Islamic Republic last Friday seized the tanker, saying it had collided with a fishing vessel.

Mohammad Mohammadi-Golpayegani, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s chief of staff, provided no details about the British mediator’s trip but made an ironic reference to Britain’s involvement during colonial times in Iranian affairs.

“A country that at one time appointed ministers and lawyers in Iran has reached a point where they send a mediator and plead for their ship to be freed,” Mohammadi-Golpayegani said, according to Tasnim.