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.
“The legal process has finished and based on that the conditions for letting the oil tanker go free have been fulfilled and the oil tanker can move,” government spokesman Ali Rabiei said. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps surrounded the Stena Impero with attack boats before rappelling onto the deck of the tanker in the Strait of Hormuz on July 19.
The vessel was impounded at Iran's Bandar Abbas port for allegedly failing to respond to distress calls and turning off its transponder after hitting a fishing boat. 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.
"We understand that the political decision has been taken to release the ship," Stena Bulk's chief executive Erik Hanell told Swedish television station SVT.