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Stena Impero: Iran to free seven crew of seized British tanker

Stena Impero: Iran to free seven crew of seized British tanker

  • 4 September 2019
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File photo showing Iranian Revolutionary Guards speedboat passing by the Stena Impero (22 August 2019)Image copyright
Reuters

Image caption

Iranian authorities say the Stena Impero broke “international maritime rules”

Iran says it will free on humanitarian grounds seven of the 23 crew members of a British-flagged oil tanker that it seized in the Strait of Hormuz in July.

The sailors – five Indians, one Latvian and one Russian – have already left the Stena Impero, a foreign ministry spokesman told state television.

Iran has alleged that the vessel broke “international maritime rules”.

The seizure came two weeks after an Iranian tanker was held off Gibraltar with the help of the Royal Marines.

That ship, now called the Adrian Darya 1, was suspected of violating European Union sanctions on Syria. But it was released by Gibraltar on 15 August.

The Swedish company that operates the Stena Impero, Stena Bulk, has said it is not aware of any evidence that it breached any maritime rules or regulations, and that it stands behind the professionalism and conduct of the crew members.