Tehran says to release detained UK-flagged tanker

September 16, 2019

TEHRAN – The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman has said that the UK-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero, which was detained by Iran for violating international maritime rules, will soon be released.

Legal proceedings against UK-flagged Stena Impero are almost finished and there remains just “two or three formalities” to take care of before releasing the ship, said Abbas Mousavi on Monday, according to Mehr news agency.

He added the release will happen in the coming days.

“This release is not being made because of any third party’s mediation,” he highlighted.

The 30,000-tonne tanker was seized by Iranian naval forces on July 19, when it ignored distress call as it collided with a fishing boat on its route.

Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said the ship had also used a wrong path to enter the Strait of Hormuz.  

In early September, Iran announced the release of the ship’s seven crew members on “humanitarian grounds”.

Tehran had repeatedly said that the Judiciary branch should decide on the fate of Stena Impero.

The seizure of the British tanker came amid a diplomatic row between Tehran and London, which had erupted earlier in July after British Royal Marines in Gibraltar illegally seized an Iranian oil tanker. That ship was later released.

SP/PA

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