Ministry issues diplomatic note to Iran over warship incursion

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IRINS Sahand. Source: Mehr News Agency/Wikimedia Commons

The Ministry of foreign affairs has issued a diplomatic note to the Iranian Embassy in Helsinki in protest over a violation of Estonia's maritime border by an Iranian warship last week.

The diplomatic note protested the incident when the Iranian Navy frigate the IRINS Sahand briefly entered Estonian waters at around 10 p.m. on Friday, July 23. The Sahand was en route to St. Petersburg.

The Estonian foreign ministry noted on its website that: "From Estonia's viewpoint, this type of violation is unacceptable. This is an unfortunate incident, which will hopefully not happen again."

The ministry formally handed over the note to Ahmad Haji Hossein, Chargé d'Affaires at the Iranian Embassy in Helsinki, on Tuesday.

Iran does not have an embassy in Tallinn and is covered by the embassy in Helsinki.

A Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) spokesperson said that while foreign vessels are free to pass through Estonia's territorial waters, this requires a minimum 48 hours' advance notice to the foreign ministry, something which the Sahand's crew had not done. 

Denmark's navy reported Friday that two Iranian military vessels, the IRINS Makran - a converted oil tanker - and the IRIS Sahand, had entered the Baltic Sea the day before, while, it is believed, that the ships were heading for a naval parade off the coast of St. Petersburg which took place Sunday.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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