Iran to Release 7 Crewmembers of British-flagged Tanker
The spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry says seven members of the crew of the Stena Impero, impounded since being detained in the Strait of Hormuz on July 19, will be released. “We have no problem with the crew and the captain… the issue is violations that the vessel committed,” Abbas Mousavi told state television. There was no word as to when the release would take place. The head of Stena Bulk, the Stockholm-based company that owns the Brith-flagged tanker, welcomed the news. “We view this communication as a positive step on the way to the release of all the remaining crew, which has always been our primary concern and focus,” Erik Hanell was quoted as saying in a company statement. The firm said the remaining 16 crewmembers would be needed to properly operate the vessel. The Stena Impero was detained two weeks after British commandos took over the Grace 1, an Iranian supertanker, believed on its way to bring crude oil to Syria in violation of European Union sanctions. The takeover came while the vessel was off Gibraltar, which impounded the tanker before releasing it a month later.