British oil tanker sails out of Iranian waters

British-flagged Stena Impero arrives at Dubai’s Port Rashid, two months after being seized by Iran's Revolutionary Guards.

Arutz Sheva North America Staff ,

Stena Impero
Stena Impero
Reuters

The British-flagged Stena Impero tanker arrived at Dubai’s Port Rashid on Friday after sailing out of Iranian waters, Reuters reported, citing Refintiv shipping data.

The Stena Impero left Iran’s Bandar Abbas port on Friday morning bound for Dubai, where the crew will be repatriated, the vessel’s Swedish operator Stena Bulk said, after being detained for 10 weeks.

The Stena Impero 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.

Gibraltar released the Grace 1, which has since been renamed the Adrian Darya 1, on August 18 after receiving written assurances from Iran that it would not head to countries under EU sanctions.

“It reached international waters,” Stena Bulk Chief Executive Erik Hanell told Reuters in a text message on Friday after the Stena Impero began sailing, adding that the ship’s master “reported that all crew members are safe and in high spirits following release.”

He said the crew would receive medical checks and be de-briefing in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, on the opposite side of the Gulf, before traveling home to their families. Seven of the 23 crew were freed earlier this month.

The Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran in the country’s southern Hormozgan Province said the ship started to move out from Bandar Abbas at 9:00 a.m. Iran time on Friday morning.

It added, however, that the judicial file on the vessel remained open and the process of looking into “violations” by the ship was ongoing.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)




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