Iran seized Portuguese-flagged ship for “violation of regulations”

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Iran said today it had captured the MSC Aries cargo ship, flying the Portuguese flag and registered in the Autonomous Region of Madeira, owned by the London-based company Zodiac Maritime Limited, for violating international maritime rules.

“The ship was directed to Iranian territorial waters due to the violation of international maritime regulations and the lack of response to the Iranian authorities,” said Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani at a press conference.

The diplomat said that the ship “belongs to the Zionist regime”, referring to Israel, and is being investigated by the “competent authorities”.

Kanaani assured that Iran is “committed to free navigation in the Strait of Hormuz” in accordance with international law.

“Iran is monitoring all traffic in this strategic strait as part of the protection of its national interests and territorial sovereignty and has full and responsible control of all elements of entry and exit,” the spokesman said.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard captured the cargo ship associated with Israel in the Persian Gulf on Saturday, hours before launching a missile and drone attack against Israel.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz described the capture of the ship as a “piracy operation”.

India, for its part, has asked Iran to guarantee the safety of the 17 Indians on board the captured ship.

Portugal’s ambassador to Tehran, Carlos da Costa Neves, met on Sunday with Iran’s chief diplomat, Hossein Amirabdollahian, to get clarification on the capture of the Portuguese-flagged ship in the Strait of Hormuz.

Following this meeting, a source from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) told Lusa that “the government is continuing to take all the necessary and appropriate steps”.

“In view of the new context and the sensitivity of the situation, it is advisable to remain reserved,” the MFA source added, giving no further details about the meeting.

Asked whether or not the Portuguese government is considering stepping up diplomatic measures in the face of this incident, the same source said that this possibility is not ruled out, taking into account the “constant monitoring and evolution” of the situation.

The Portuguese-flagged vessel, a container ship, was seized on Saturday by Iran near the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf with a total of 25 crew members on board. The captured container ship is linked to the company Zodiac Maritime, part of the Zodiac Group, with a fleet of more than 180 ships and owned by Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer.

The ship left Khalifa, in the United Arab Emirates, bound for Nhava Sheva, in India, and the last position received was on Friday, in exactly the same spot near the Strait of Hormuz where it was seized.

Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert is a 55-year-old writer and journalist based in Porto, Portugal. Born in France, he brings a unique blend of French and Portuguese perspectives to his work. Education Hervé studied Journalism and Literature at the University of Lyon in France. After completing his studies, he gained valuable experience working with various French media outlets (Portugal France also). Career He worked for several years as a journalist in France before making the move to Portugal. In Porto, he joined the Portugal Pulse team as a staff writer. Skills Hervé specializes in storytelling, investigative journalism, and cultural commentary. He has a flair for capturing complex issues in a relatable way. Personal Life He currently resides in Porto and enjoys the city's rich culture, from Fado music to Francesinha cuisine. Hervé continues to maintain strong ties to his French heritage, often traveling back to France for family visits and cultural exploration. With his unique background and diverse skill set, Hervé Hubert adds a layered, multicultural lens to every story he covers.

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