Maersk wants ship back, Iran says it is owed $3.6 million and wants the money first

The Maersk Tigris

(Reuters) – Danish shipping giant Maersk insisted on Thursday on the release of a vessel and crew seized by Iran but an Iranian Embassy statement said the Maersk Tigris would only be let go once a years-old debt case was settled…

…Maersk, the world’s biggest container shipping line, said it had agreed to pay an Iranian company $163,000 after an Iranian court ruling in February which related to a dispute about 10 container boxes transported to Dubai in 2005.

“The Iranian company appealed the case seeking a higher compensation,” Maersk said.

“Only today, 30 April, have we learnt that the appeal court has ruled Maersk Line to pay $3.6 million. As we do not have the details of the ruling, we are not able to comment hereon, nor at this point speculate on our options”…

In a separate and later item, Reuters reports that Iran won’t release the ship until the money is paid.

In another report, we learn that Iran has sent warships to the Strait of Hormuz (where the Maersk ship was seized) to protect commercial ships against pirates.

The Daily Mail reports that just days before the Maersk Tigris was seized, Iran “harassed” a US-flagged commercial ship. The US has sent a destroyer to the area.