10 Jan 2009

Iranian-chartered ship 'freed by pirates'

10:52 pm on 10 January 2009

Somali pirates have released an Iranian-chartered vessel which was seized off the coast of Yemen in November, Iranian media reported on Saturday.

The Delight was seized on its way to Iran from Germany carrying 36,000 tonnes of wheat.

Iran's Fars News Agency said it had been released on Friday night, but did not state whether any ransom had been paid.

The Hong Kong-flagged vessel with 25 crew was chartered by the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, the country's biggest shipping firm.

Earlier, Somali pirates released the Saudi supertanker Sirius Star and its $US100 million cargo of crude oil for a $US3 million ransom. The ship was captured in November.