Iranians deny Bashagha statement of Iranian ship arrest – Al Marsad

Libya, 28 April 2019 – Reports that an Iranian vessel had been arrested after docking in Misrata last week have been denied by the ship’s owners, Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line (IRISL). IRISL Director General Mohammad Saeedi said that there were issue about the vessel, the Shahr E Kord, and that negotitations were taking place to resolve them, but he firmly denied that the ship had been seized.

“The news is not correct . . . . There is a dispute with the Libyan government about a ship that we are negotiating to resolve, but that ship has not been seized,” Saeedi was quoted as saying by Iranian news agency IRNA.

Last week, after news emerged that the Shar E Kord was heading to Misrata, having sailed from Bulgaria, Tripoli-based interior minister Fathi Bashagha ordered its arrest.

IRISL, along with all its vessels, is on a US sanctions list for carrying military equipment on behalf of Iran.

At a press conference today in Tunis, Bashagha said that the Shahr E Kord had been seized. He also stated this in ministry announcement yesterday.

It has not been divulged what was the ship was carrying from Bulgaria to Misrata.  Some reports in Bulgaria have suggested that it may have been carrying arms.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, LNA spokesman Maj.-Gen. Ahmed Mismari said that the Iranian vessel had 144 containers on board.  In view of the military sanctions against Libya, UNSMIL was obliged to find out whether they contained military equipment, he said.

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