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IndiaSole woman among 17 Indians onboard seized vessel MSC Aries returns home...

Sole woman among 17 Indians onboard seized vessel MSC Aries returns home from Iran


New Delhi, Apr 18: Ann Tessa Joseph, the sole woman cadet among the 17 Indian crew members of an Israel-linked container vessel that was seized by Iran's military on April 13, was released on Thursday following “concerted efforts” by the Indian mission in Tehran and the Iranian government.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the Indian side is in touch with Iranian authorities to ensure the release of the remaining Indian crew members of the vessel, “MSC Aries”.

Joseph, who hails from Thrissur in Kerala, landed at the Cochin airport on Thursday afternoon.

“With the concerted efforts of Indian mission in Tehran and the Iranian government, Indian deck cadet Ann Tessa Joseph from Thrissur, Kerala, who was among the Indian crew members of container vessel MSC Aries, has landed safely at the Cochin international airport today afternoon,” the MEA said in a statement.

Joseph was received at the airport by the regional passport officer.

MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said the Indian embassy in Tehran, with support from Iranian authorities, facilitated Joseph's return home.

The 17 Indians were part of the 25-member crew of the ship.

“The Indian mission in Tehran remains seized of the matter and is in touch with the remaining 16 Indian crew members of the container vessel. The crew members are in good and in contact with their family members in ,” the MEA said.

“The Indian mission is also in touch with the Iranian authorities in ensuring the well being of the remaining crew members of MSC Aries,” it added.

The Indian mission was given consular access to the Indians by Iranian authorities.

In a telephonic conversation on Sunday, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar requested his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, to ensure the release of the Indian crew members.

Amir-Abdollahian assured Jaishankar that Tehran will allow Indian authorities to meet the Indian crew members.

The MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Company) had said it was working closely with the relevant authorities for the well-being of the 25 crew members and the return of the vessel.

Hours after the Iranian military seized the vessel, White House Security Council Spokesperson Adrienne Watson said the ship's crew comprised Indian, Filipino, Pakistani, Russian and Estonian nationals.

India has been in touch with Iran to secure the release of the Indians onboard container ship MSC Aries.

West Asia is reeling under tensions in view of hostilities between Iran and Israel.

In the early hours of Sunday, Iran launched its first direct attack on Israel by firing hundreds of drones and missiles in response to a suspected Israeli strike on its consulate in Damascus on April 1.

In its reaction, India called for immediate de-escalation of the situation.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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