Maersk says it doesn’t know reason for seizure of its ship by Iran Navy

Maersk Line said it is not able yet to establish the reason why the containership Maersk Tigris was seized by the Iranian Navy on Tuesday.

The 5,466 teu Maersk Tigris, chartered from Rickmers, was seized by the Iranian Navy after warning shots were fired across its bow.

According to Iranian media reports, the vessel was detained over outstanding payments to the Iran Ports and Maritime Organisation.

“We are continuing our efforts to obtain more information about the Iranian authorities’ seizure – in international waters – of Maersk Tigris. We are not able at this point to establish or confirm the reason behind the seizure,” Maersk said in an emailed statement.

The company added that it was in ongoing contact with the vessel’s managers, Rickmers Shipmanagement, “and are pleased to learn that the crew is safe and under the circumstances in good spirits. The well-being of the crew remains our paramount concern.”

Maersk said it was also in close dialogue with the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Marshall Islands flagged vessel is deployed on Maersk’s ME3 service between the Black Sea and the Persian Gulf.

Meanwhile Iran’s foreign minister has offered assurances that Tehran is committed to maintaining freedom of navigation in the Gulf in the aftermath of the seizure of Maersk Tigris by Iranian forces.

“The Persian Gulf is our lifeline … we will respect international navigation,” Mohammad Javad Zarif told an audience at New York University. “For us, freedom of navigation in the Persian Gulf is a must.”

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