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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran calls on UAE to seize Singapore-flagged vessel

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, May 15, IRNA -- An Oil Ministry official called on the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to seize a Singapore-flagged vessel and hand it over to the country for seriously damaging an Iranian oil rig and fleeing the scene.

Hossein Sharifabadi, representative of Phase 13 Consortium said that the consortium has urged the UAE government to seize the Alpine Eternity vessel for the damages.

The ship has reportedly fled to Dubai after being ordered into Iranian waters by the coast guard.

'On March 22, the Alpine ship with Singapore flag hit the 13A gas platform and left the scene,' Sharifabadi said.

Earlier today, Director of the consortium for phase 13 of the South Pars project, Habib Jadidi, said the Alpine Eternity was trying to leave the region before the issue could be resolved.

The ship has reportedly fled to Dubai after being ordered into Iranian waters by the coast guard.

"We want neighboring countries to make the necessary cooperation on confiscation and handing over of this particular vessel," he said.

The ship, operated by Norway's Transpetrol TM AS, hit the rig at 03:00 a.m. on March 22 after drifting 25-30 miles away from its normal course, the Ministry of Petroleum's Shana news outlet quoted Jadidi as saying.

He said the collision had caused $300 million of damage to the rig. The Norwegian company has been informed of the damage but it has taken no measure so far to pay for it, he said.

"The collision has created a very dangerous situation for the wells which have reached the gas reservoir. If it is not quickly tackled, wellhead installations will be damaged and if no gas flows from the wells it could lead to unpleasant hazards and pollution of the sea," Jadidi explained.

The official said his company had the coordinates of the wells internationally registered four years ago, while the platform stood 10 meters above the water surface with all the alert lights and other warning systems installed on it.

"Based on the acknowledgement of the Norwegian company, the sailors of the vessel had reminded the captain of the risks of a collision but his dereliction and negligence has caused this accident," he said.

The incident comes two weeks after Iranian patrol boats seized a Marshall Islands-flagged cargo ship, the MV Maersk Tigris, and held the vessel over another outstanding financial dispute.

Iran reportedly released the vessel after the two sides reached an agreement on settling the issue.


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