Five Indian crew of a cargo ship seized by Iran in April were released on Thursday, the Indian embassy in Tehran said.

The five Indians had departed from Iran, the embassy said. “We appreciate the Iranian authorities for their close coordination with the embassy and Indian consulate in Bandar Abbas,” it said on social media.

The remaining 11 Indian crew are still in Iran, Deccan Herald reported.

On April 13, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps had seized the cargo vessel MSC Aries near the Strait of Hormuz that connects the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. It was seized for its alleged links with Israel amid rising tensions in West Asia.

The Revolutionary Guards is part of the Iranian armed forces. The ship was taken into Iranian territorial waters. Of the total 25 crew on board the vessel, 17 were Indian.

On April 18, Ann Tessa Joseph, one of the Indian crew among those on board the vessel, was released and left for her home in Kerala, NDTV reported.

In late April, Randhir Jaiswal, the external affairs ministry spokesperson, confirmed that Joseph had returned.

“We had asked for consular access for these 16 people and we received that and our officers met them,” he had said during a press briefing. “Their health is good and there is no problem of any kind on the ship.”

Jaiswal had added: “Concerning their return, there are some technicalities and contractual obligations. Once they are done, it will decide their return.”

The seized vessel is linked to London-based Zodiac Maritime, which is part of Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer’s Zodiac Group.

R Hari Kumar, the Indian Navy chief at the time, had said that MSC Aries was headed towards an Indian port when it was taken over by the Iranian forces.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had earlier said that he had contacted his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian seeking the release of the 17 Indian crew.

Iran’s seizure of the ship came amid tensions in West Asia as Israel pushed ahead with its war on Gaza, which started more than seven months ago. The Israeli military’s air and ground operations in the besieged Palestinian territory have killed more than 34,000 persons so far. The war began after Palestinian militant group Hamas led an incursion into southern Israel on October 7, killing 1,200 people and taking over 200 hostages.