Stena Impero could soon be released, Iran says
The British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero, which has been seized by Iran for almost two months, could be released after the imminent completion of legal proceedings against the tanker, Iranian state television reported on Sunday.
“I hope the procedures will be completed soon and this tanker will be released,”
…Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi was quoted as saying by Reuters.
In line with an ongoing crisis in the Middle East, Stena Impero was detained by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards on July 19 in the Strait of Hormuz, for alleged marine violations.
The vessel’s seizure was seen by international media as an act of retaliation, as it came two weeks after Britain had detained an Iranian tanker off Gibraltar, accusing it of shipping oil to Syria in violation of EU sanctions. That vessel was released in August.
As a consequence, Iran released seven of the 23 crew members of the Stena Impero last week- one Russian, one Latvian and five Indian nationals.
A Russian embassy official in Tehran has said that the remaining 16 crew members will remain on the ship “until the fate of the tanker itself is decided”.
The owner Stena Bulk has been in close negotiations with Iranian authorities regarding a potential release of the vessel, but is reiterating the vessel has breached no rules.