Tehran, Jan 17 (IANS) Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh responded to the rumours on the possibility of releasing a South Korean oil tanker seized the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) in the Gulf earlier this month, saying the statements by people not related to the issue lack any basis.
Khatibzadeh made the remarks on Saturday in response to a question by some reporters about the rumours of possible release of the tanker, Xinhua news agency reported.
He stressed that decisions made by the Iran judiciary which is in charge of the issue, are announced only by its spokesman so the statements by people not related to the issue lack any basis, adding that the tanker was seized for polluting the Gulf waters upon an Iranian judiciary order.
The spokesman said since the case is still under investigation, it is only the judiciary that has the authority to make any announcements in this regard.
The IRGC announced in a statement on January 4 that United Arab Emirate-bound tanker, named Hankuk Chemi, carrying 7,200 tonnes of petrochemicals, had been seized “for repeated violations of marine environmental laws”.
It also had 20 crewmembers on board — five South Koreans, 11 Myanmarese, two Indonesians and two Vietnamese.
The tanker is currently docked at a port in Bandar Abbas, a city on Iran’s southern coast.