Following the seizure of the South Korean-flagged MT Hankuk Chemi by Iranian authorities in the waters off Oman, South Korea will send a government delegation to Iran, in order to negotiate the release of the tanker.
As Reuters reports, the seizure of the MT Hankuk Chemi and its crew has been seen as an attempt by Iran to assert its demands, just two weeks before President-elect Joe Biden takes office. However, Iran denies accusations of seizing the tanker.
“A delegation will be dispatched to Iran at the earliest possible date to try to resolve the matter through bilateral negotiations,” …foreign ministry spokesman Choi Young-sam told BBC reporters.
What is more, the MT Hankuk Chemi has a crew of 20 which includes nationals from Indonesia, Myanmar, South Korea and Vietnam.
At the moment, sources report that all of them are safe.
Following the above, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman said the tanker’s seizure was over a “purely technical issue and due to polluting the sea”.
However, the ship’s operator has denied that the vessel was polluting waters. Concluding, the incident marks the first Iranian seizure of a major vessel in more than a year.