Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian told his Estonian counterpart in a telephone conversation that the Portuguese ship seized in the territorial waters of the Islamic Republic of Iran is detained under judicial rules.

During a telephone conversation between Margus Tsahkna, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Estonia, and Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, the two sides discussed the latest state of bilateral ties and regional developments.

In response to the request of the Estonian side regarding the Portuguese ship seized in the territorial waters of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the release of the Estonian crew, Amir Abdollahian said that Iran has already released all the ship’s crew members on humanitarian grounds, and if the ship’s captain accompanies them, the crew including the Estonians can return to their country.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry didn’t disclose the name of the vessel but its worth reminding that the Portugal-flagged vessel MSC Aries was seized by the Iranian authorities on April 13 in the Strait of Hormuz while transiting international waters.

Amir Abdollahian underlined that compliance with maritime rules and regulations by all ships is necessary and unavoidable in order to maintain maritime safety.

Margus Tsahkna, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, said his country considers relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran as important. He then expressed hope that the ties between the two sides will expand even further after the removal of obstacles.

Estonian’s foreign minister also referred to regional crises and called for cooperation among all countries to stop the war in Gaza.

He appreciated Iran’s humanitarian approach and its efforts to release the crew members of the seized Portuguese ship, as it is reported by Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The minister of Estonia confirmed the telephone conversation in the social media X mentioning that he discussed the situation onboard the ship MSC Aries and ways to get the Estonian resident on the ship to return home. 

They also talked about the regional security in the Middle East and the Russian war against Ukraine.

The announcement comes after India’s ministry of external affairs said on April 18 that an Indian woman cadet on vessel MSC Aries has returned home.

With the concerted efforts of Indian Mission in Tehran and the Iranian Government, the Indian deck cadet, who was among the Indian crew members of container vessel MSC Aries, has landed safely at the Cochin International Airport.

The previous month Portugal’s newly-appointed Foreign Minister Paulo Rangel had a phone conversation with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir Abdollahian and exchanged views on the bilateral relations and the situation in the region, with the developments in Palestine standing out in their talks.

During their talks both sides exchanged their latest views on a Portuguese-flagged ship seized by Iranian forces.

Iran’s foreign minister Amir Abdollahian touched on the issue, saying, “We seriously consider the release of the ship’s crew as a humanitarian issue, and we have announced to their ambassadors in Tehran their access to consular services, release and extradition.”