Tanker still in Dubai, Singapore deeply concerned
Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) has released a statement calling Iran’s firing on one of its ships last week a “serious violation of international law”.
Alpine Eternity, which is registered in Singapore and owned by a Norwegian company, was attempting to transit the Strait of Hormuz last week en-route to Fujairah when she was surrounded by several Iranian naval patrol vessels.
The incident came just days after the release of Maersk Tigris by Iran, which was seized in a similar manner. Instead of altering course to Iran as ordered, Alpine Eternity’s captain changed course for the UAE and sent out a distress call.
UAE Coast Guard vessels intervened, forcing the Iranian ships to withdraw, but not before several bursts of gunfire were reportedly fired at the oil chemical tanker.
“With regard to the reported shooting incident on 14 May 2015 (Singapore time), involving a Singapore-registered tanker ‘Alpine Eternity’ that took place in international waters, Singapore is deeply concerned with such actions,” read the statement from the MPA.
“The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has requested the Iranian maritime authorities to investigate the incident and prevent future recurrences,” the statement added. “The freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce are of critical importance to Singapore and other maritime and trading nations. Such interference with navigational rights is a serious violation of international law.”
Iran claims the chemical tanker hit an Iranian-owned oil platform on March 22 and is liable to pay damages and has demanded that the UAE hand the ship over.