EghtesadOnline: The Iranian oil tanker ‘Happiness 1’ that was held at Jeddah port in Saudi Arabia for over two months has been released.
On May 2, the tanker faced an engine failure near the Red Sea port of Jeddah and was forced to seek repairs at the Arabian port. However, after it was fixed, the Saudis refused to let it leave, charging Iran $200,000 a day for repairing the vessel despite the fact that Iran had paid over $10 million to the port authority for maintenance costs, Mehr News Agency reported.
Now after 80 days, following negotiations between the National Iranian Tanker Company and the Saudis, the vessel and 26 crewmembers are heading home.
However, it is not clear under what conditions the tanker was released and if more money was paid because neither Tehran nor Riyadh have officially disclosed any details, Financial Tribune reported.
According to Iranian officials, the incident occurred on April 30 while Happiness I was on its way to the Suez Canal and water had leaked into the tanker’s engine room. It has been reported that all necessary precautions were taken to avoid any environmental damage.
TankerTrackers monitoring group estimated the vessel was carrying up to 1.22 million barrels of crude oil.