Iran says no need for naval escorts of foreign vessels

Minister calls Iran’s waters ‘the safest in the world’.

Iran has reassured foreign shipowners it is open for business and no overseas naval escorts are needed in its waters, which it called “the safest in the world”.

This is according to Mohammad Rastad, deputy minister of roads and urban development.

He said overseas vessels carrying Iranian imports can be confident that there will be “no problem for their movement and there is no obstacle for their arrival in the country”, according to Trend news agency.

“Currently, all the ports in our country continue to serve various types of ships and are discharging or loading cargo. The movement in Iran’s waters are normal.”

He added: “So far no incident or emergency situation has occurred in…trade ports and all the activities are carried out in normal way. There is no need for escorting ships, and we have always insisted that Iran’s waters are the safest waters in the world.”

This was a reference to the renewed presence of British naval vessels to escort UK-flagged ships in the region following escalating tensions results from the US killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.

“Due to availability of Iran’s fleet in our waters, there is no need for foreign fleet to escort ships. It has been repeated constantly that we have provided security in the Persian Gulf waters and the Sea of Oman,” Rastad added.

VLCC moves out of the dark

The reappearance of an Iranian VLCC on AIS this week for the first time in six months indicates Tehran does not intend to interfere with shipping in the Strait of Hormuz, a consultancy said on Wednesday.

The 318,000-dwt Stream (built 2013), operated by National Iranian Tanker Co, was showing an AIS signal on Wednesday from an anchorage off Khor Fakkan in the United Arab Emirates. It had completed a voyage from Tianjin in China, data revealed.

TankerTrackers said it is the first AIS signal from the tanker since 19 July.

Security consultancy Dryad Global said this is “widely seen as a signal by Iran that it does not intend to interfere with operations through the Strait of Hormuz”.

Source: TradeWinds