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2-min read

Inside Seized British Tanker, 'Iranian Guard' Thanks Crew for Cooperation; Indian Sailors Spotted Too

A video released by Iran's semi-official Fars news agency shows the seafarers, including 18 Indians, sitting around a table as a man in grey thanks them for their cooperation. Foreign media claims that the man is an Iranian guard.

News18.com

Updated:July 22, 2019, 11:42 PM IST
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New Delhi: Wearing red jumpsuits and sitting around a table, 23 sailors aboard captured Stena Impero can be seen engaged in a discussion in a fresh video issued by Iran on Monday.

A video released by Iran's semi-official Fars news agency shows the seafarers, including Indians, sitting around a table as a man in grey "thanks them for their cooperation". Foreign media claims that the man is an Iranian guard.

The reports also state that the cameraman can be heard telling them not to look at him. However, the video with News18 does not have audio to verify the details of the conversation.

The video shows an Iran flag flying atop the British-flagged tanker, while the Indian captain can be seen navigating and Indian chefs preparing food in tanker's kitchen.

Stena-chef

Indian chefs preparing food in tanker's kitchen

Stena-Captain

Captain monitoring parametres of the tanker

Earlier on Monday, the Iran embassy in India said that the Stena Impero crew was in good health. "All the crew members including the Indian nationals are in good health, they are still on board the tanker," the embassy said.

Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said that efforts were on to release the Indians. He added that consular access to 18 sailors was also sought on 20 July.

A picture of the seized tanker also shows sailors huddled cross-legged on the floor with their shoes taken off and piled in a corner.

Stena-AFP

Shoes taken off and piled in a corner on Stena Impero (AFP)

The fresh video and pictures have come two days after Fars News released a footage showing the moment when Iranian naval vessels and a helicopter seized the British-flagged tanker. A foreign media report said that the video showed Islamic call to prayer being played through its speakers, in a "taunt to Britain'.

In a dramatic escalation of tensions, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps captured Stena Impero on Friday in the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

Iran impounded the tanker after claiming it failed to respond to distress calls and turned off its transponder after hitting a fishing boat. However, Britain has said there was no evidence of a collision and said the vessel was in Omani waters, with its transponder switched on.

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| Edited by: Sumedha Kirti
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