Update at 1:50 PM: Iran now says it has freed the Maersk ship and that it has left port.
The Marshall-flagged Maersk Tigris ship that Iran seized in the Persian Gulf (Strait of Hormuz) last month will be released “in two days” after the company pays a fine, the Islamic Republic regime stated Thursday morning.
Maersk has confirmed that it has had a “constructive dialogue with the Iranian courts” for “the safe release of the crew and vessel.”
The Iranian Foreign Ministry said:
Based on the information we have acquired, it is likely that the dispute will be settled within the next two days.
The United States has a security arrangement with the Marshall Islands by which it has “full authority and responsibility for security and defense of the Marshall Islands.” The seizure of the vessel prompted the Obama administration, after a couple of days of hesitation, to escort U.S.-flagged ships in the Gulf. The presence of American navy ships escalated tensions with Tehran with less than 60 days until the deadline for a final agreement between the P5+1 and Iran on its nuclear program.
Iran’s navy forces fired shots at the Maersk ship before forcing it to the naval port at Bandar Abbas. The regime claimed that seizure was carried out following an Iranian court order that Maersk must pay $3.6 million in damages to an Iranian oil firm for cargo that allegedly never was delivered.
Two days ago, Iran said it would sell the Maersk Tigris ship. The Iranian foreign ministry also tried to convince the world that the ship’s 24-man crew is “free…and benefiting from consular assistance.”
The regime in Tehran is notorious for spinning more yarn than any textile company can produce. It claimed this week that it chased an U.S. Navy boat out of the Persian Gulf.
Iran often comes up with fairy tales to justify actions it had to take in order to climb down a tall tree, and this is apparently what it is doing after having tested American reaction to its latest gambit to gain the upper edge in P5+1 talks by trying to prove to Washington that it can cause havoc to the world economy by causing problems in the Person Gulf, the major maritime passage approximately 20 percent of the world’s oil.