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Iran frees nine Indian crew from seized tanker

Iran has freed nine of 12 Indian crew from a Panama-flagged tanker seized on July 14, according to Indian foreign ministry.

Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar said on Friday those released “will be on their way to India soon”.

Iran had accused the MT Riah ship of smuggling contraband fuel when it was detained, amid mounting tensions between the Iranian government and both Britain and the US over shipping in the Strait of Hormuz.

The MT Riah crossed into Iranian waters around July 14 and stopped transmitting signals shortly afterwards, the TankerTrackers online oil shipment website reported at the time.

The release of the nine crew means that there are at least 21 other Indians who remain in Iranian detention, including three others from the MT Riah and 18 from the British-flagged Stena Impero tanker which was seized by Iranian forces last week.

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