00:29 GMT +314 October 2019
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    Amid UK-Iran Tanker Stand-Off, New Delhi Steps Up Efforts to Secure Release of Indians On Board

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    New Delhi (Sputnik): As the standoff between Iran and Britain continues over each other’s detained oil tankers, India has stepped up efforts to secure the release of its nationals on board the arrested vessels.

    On Wednesday India's Minister of State for External Affairs, V Muraleedharan, said the country's foreign secretary met the Iranian Ambassador in New Delhi to secure the release of Indians on the British vessel 'Stena Impero', in Tehran's custody.

    The minister was also optimistic about gaining consular access to Indian nationals held by the British military since the seizure of the Iranian-owned VLCC Grace-1.

    "Of the 24 Indian nationals on board four have been arrested but released on bail. Senior officials of our Mission in London expect to get consular access by this evening, "Muraleedharan informed.

    ​Meanwhile, located at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula, the Gibraltar government, which is a British Overseas Territory, has said it detained the Iranian vessel for violations of European Union Sanctions.

    Iran detained ''Stena Impero'' in retaliatory for the actions of British Marines.

    Earlier on Monday, the Iranian embassy in New Delhi also assured the government about the safety of the crew of the Steno Impero.

    "All the crew members, including the Indian nationals, are in good health, and they are still on board the tanker," the embassy said.

    The British flagged tanker was captured last week after Tehran stated it collided with a fishing boat and failed to respond to distress calls.


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