India's External Affairs Minister S.Jaishankar will be meeting his British counterpart Dominic Raab on Friday to discuss the safety of the Indian crew after their ship was seized by Iran on 19 July. The two leaders would be meeting in Bangkok where the ASEAN summit is taking place.
British ship Stena Impero with 18 Indian crew was detained by Iran's Revolutionary Guards alleging that the ship had collided with a fish boat. It was captured in the Strait of Hormuz. Stena Bulk – the company that owns the ship – claimed the ship didn't collide with any boat and there was no proof to substantiate Iran's claims. In addition, the ship was following the international rules of water traffic with all the equipment functioning properly.
India had been able to access the crew on 25 July and is working for their release. In a similar case, Iran released 20 out of 24 Indians who were detained on a ship called Grace 1.
The office of British High Commission in India said “The British Government hasn't had much role to play in the release of Indians stuck on the ship seized by Iran. India secured access to the people on the ship already and we cannot comment on it. We will not swap ships i.e. help in releasing the Iranian ship detained by Gibraltar for the release of the British ship seized by Iran.”
The tension between UK and Iran escalated after an Iranian ship Grace 1 was captured by Gibraltar with the help of the Royal Navy on the suspicion that the oil was being sent to Syria which is a clear violation of European Union sanctions. The captain of the ship had accused the Royal Navy of using “brute force” to capture them.
After a month of Iran's ship being detained, the British ship with crew members from India, Russia, Latvia, and Philippines was seized by the Iranian navy. The seizure precipitated a diplomatic row between the UK and Iran with both accusing each other of illegal measures to capture ships. The British Foreign Secretary had called Iran's action as “State Piracy”.