A week after Iran seized the British-flagged Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz, the Indian Embassy in Iran said it has got consular access to the 18 Indians among the ship's crew. The oil tanker was detained by the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in retaliation for the Royal Navy and Gibraltar police seizing the Iran-flagged Grace 1 that was on its way to a Syrian port.

The other members of the ship's crew from the Philippines, Russia and Lativia. The Philippines Ambassador to Iran, Fred Santos, was also in touch with Iranian authorities to free the Filipino seafarer.

On Tuesday, Stena Bulk, the owner of the British oil tanker Stena Impero had contacted the ship’s master who relayed that the crew was safe and they are in good co-operation with the Iranians. Iran President Hassan Rouhani had signaled freeing the British-flagged vessel if the U.K. frees the Iranian oil tanker Grace 1.

An Iranian warship and speed boats take part in a naval war game in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, southern Iran
U.S. Navy ships have taken a lead on security in the Strait of Hormuz after Iran seized a ship there earlier this week. Pictured: An Iranian warship and speedboats take part in a naval war game in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, southern Iran. Reuters

Separately, Indian media reports said Indian officials met the 24 Indian crew members who were on board the Grace 1. They were assured that the India's Ministry of External Affairs would work out their release and repatriation. V. Muraleedharan, the Minister of State for External Affairs, said a team of officials from the Indian High Commission in London, had met the Indian members of the crew of Grace 1 on Wednesday. The minister tweeted that the crew’s morale is high. “Assured all assistance for early release. HCI London will facilitate necessary travel document and related arrangements,” he wrote.

During a media briefing, ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar said a three-member team had met with the 24-crew members. Kumar said the crew members were calm, very composed and there was no sense of panic. “They had been in regular touch with their family members. We had assured them that the Government of India will undertake all the necessary steps to ensure their early release and repatriation,” he said.