Middle EastNewsUK

Iran Sets British Oil Tanker Free After Two Months

Iran said on Monday that a British-flagged oil tanker is “free” to leave more than two months after it was seized in the Gulf.

Government spokesman Ali Rabiei said in a statement carried by the official IRNA news agency that the oil tanker Stena Impero is free to continue on its way.

He did not specify when the Swedish-owned vessel would be allowed to set sail.

Stena Bulk, the company that owns the tanker, said on Sunday that it expected the vessel to be released soon, but expressed caution about the situation.

On July 19, the  Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran seized the British oil tanker in Gulf waters “for not falling in line with maritime rules.”

The ship’s seizure came hours after a court in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar said it was extending the detention of the Grace 1, an Iranian oil tanker later renamed the Adrian Darya 1.

At the time, Tehran denied the seizure of the Stena Impero was a tit-for-tat move. A Gibraltar court ordered the Iranian tanker’s release on August 15 despite an 11th-hour US legal bid to keep it in detention.


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