As the tensions between Iran and United States continue to rise, India has upped its efforts to ensure the release of 18 Indians who are held captive on the British oil tanker seized by Iranian Revolutionary Guard. India’s External Affairs Minister, Dr. S Jaishankar taking prompt action has indicated towards the efforts of Indian Embassy in Iran towards the safe release of the crew members. He said “Team MEA is already working on the early release & repatriation of all 18 Indian crew members of Stena Impero” he also added “Our Embassy in Tehran is in constant contact with Iranian authorities to resolve this. We will keep you posted on further developments.”
EAM S Jaishankar: Our Embassy in Tehran is in constant contact with Iranian authorities to resolve this. We will keep you posted on further developments. https://t.co/7ZiKW9a7k4
— ANI (@ANI) July 21, 2019
#TeamMEA is already working on the early release & repatriation of all 18 Indian crew members of Stena Impero. Our Embassy in Tehran is in constant contact with Iranian authorities to resolve this. We will keep you posted on further developments. https://t.co/3BrK5ahYGq
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) July 21, 2019
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) had claimed that their navy had captured a British-flagged oil tanker, Stena Impero earlier on Saturday. According to IRGC the tanker had violated international regulations. They also added that the tanker, Stena Impero was confiscated in the strategic Strait of Hormuz for breaking “international maritime rules”. Indian foreign minister, S Jaishankar has stepped in promptly to ensure the safety and repatriation of Indian aboard the British oil tanker.
— Press TV (@PressTV) July 20, 2019
On Friday a US warship had shot down an Iranian drone on Friday near the Persian Gulf and this confiscation is being seen as a retaliation by the Iranian side against US aggression. US President Trump had also confirmed the attack on the drone stating that the drone had closed within 1000 yards of the US maritime warship, USS Boxer, Donald trump also added that the drone had ignored multiple calls by the US to back off.
Earlier this month, Britain, in the Strait of Gibraltar, had seized an Iranian oil tanker and on that probe as well, four Indians were arrested. However, they were freed without any charges pressed on them. The Indian High commission has ensured that they are proved all necessary assistance. Iran’s move to seize the British oil tanker in the strait of Hormuz is being seen as a retaliation to Britain’s actions. However, S Jaishankar promptly stepping in to protect the Indians aboard the seized ship may provide hope of quick repatriation.
The strategic Strait of Hormuz which is about 167 Km long with its width varying form 96 Km to just mere 39 Km is an important trade route for a major portion of the world’s oil trade. Almost 20% of worlds total global oil consumption passes, through the strait with about a third of Liquefied Natural Gas passes through this strategic strait. However, since US-Iran tensions have been on the rise, the trade through this channel has also experienced volatility resulting in fluctuations in the energy market. After the confiscation of the British flagged ship that was bound for Saudi Arabia, shipping operators have registered heightened concerns after being drawn into the stand-off between the USA and Iran.
Following in the footsteps of ex- External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, Dr. S. Jaishankar seems to be taking her legacy forward by his proactive approach towards issues of similar nature. Whether it was the issue of Doklam stand-off or the Indo-Pak tensions following the Pulwama terror attack, Sushma Swaraj, in the first term of Modi government made it a point to use all her experience and play her part as the External Affairs Minister responsibly. And now these steps by the current External Affairs minister S Jaishankar, who is one of the best diplomats in the world himself, are in continuation with Sushma Swaraj’s legacy.
Like Sushma Swaraj, Dr. S. Jaishankar has also been using Social media diligently to further improve India’s efforts to safeguard interests of Indian Citizens abroad. Earlier, a Twitter user, Vineeth Nair, asked for help stating, “Sir please help us we are 3 persons are trapped in Oman please help, 0096895084333 its my Oman no.” The External Affairs Minister was quick to come to his rescue and replied, “Our Embassy in Oman is trying to resolve this. Please continue to stay in touch with them @IndEmb_Muscat.”
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) June 2, 2019
The appointment of S Jaishankar as External Affairs Minister after Sushma Swaraj’s retirement has been a wise decision by the Modi government and even more beneficial given the uncertain times that the world faces today.