Report: Iran to release seized British oil tanker

Sweden officials say Stena Impero, captured by Revolutionary Guards in July, will be released soon.

Elad Benari,

The Stena Impero at Bander Abass port
The Stena Impero at Bander Abass port
Reuters

Sweden has received "very strong indications" that a British oil tanker seized last month by Iran in the Strait of Hormuz is to be released soon, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing Swedish public service broadcaster SVT.

The Stena Impero, British-owned but operated by Swedish company Stena Bulk, was captured by Iran's Revolutionary Guards on July 19 after passing through the strait at the mouth of the Gulf.

While the incident took place after the UK and Gibraltar seized the Iran-flagged tanker Grace 1 in early July on the grounds that it was attempting to transport oil to Syria, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif denied the move was an act of revenge for the capture of the Iranian tanker.

Zarif visited Sweden earlier this week for talks with Sweden's foreign minister Margot Wallstrom. He also met Erik Hanell, chief executive of Stena Bulk, according to Reuters.

The vessel is expected to be released within a few days, SVT reported, citing a source with insight into the talks that took place between Wallstrom and Zarif.

"We look positively at what Foreign Minister Zarif himself has said publicly about hopes for a possible quick solution for Stena Impero, but we do not disclose what is said in the meetings," a spokeswoman at Sweden's foreign ministry said in an e-mailed statement.

Earlier this week, the Grace 1 which is now known as Adrian Darya 1, was freed by Gibraltar and left its waters.




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