British oil tanker detained to ensure security of Strait of Hormuz

TEHRAN, Jul. 22 (MNA) – Government Spokesman Ali Rabeie said on Monday that the British-flagged oil tanker, Stena Impero, was detained by Iran to ensure the security of the Strait of Hormuz and for environmental protection.

The oil tanker had turned its GPS locator off in contravention of international regulations and was sailing into the strait in a wrong traffic pattern [from the southern route which is an exit path] increasing the risk of an accident with other vessels and was a threat to the environment, he told reporters in a news conference.

He underscored that Iran’s measure has not been a retaliatory one but a legal and correct act.

“We do believe that there are some diplomatic solutions for the issue,” the spokesperson added.

The IRGC’s Public Relations Department said in a statement on Friday that the vessel named “Stena Impero” had been impounded “at the request of Hormozgan Ports and Maritime Organization when passing through the Strait of Hormuz, for failing to respect international maritime rules.”

Referring to Stena Impero’s story and in a tweet on Sunday, Iranian foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called on UK to exercise prudence and have foresight to be able to thwart US ploys seeking to pull the European country into a quagmire.

Meanwhile, during a phone conversation between Iranian and British foreign ministers on Saturday, Iran’s Zarif reiterated that unlike the UK’s unlawful seizure of the vessel carrying Iran’s oil, the Islamic Republic’s move was carried out upon the request of Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran given the vessel’s violation of regulations.

Zarif noted that the case must be pursued through judicial and legal channels.

Zarif and Hunt also highlighted the importance of finding lawful solutions and avoiding heightened tensions.

HJ/ 4673379

News Code 147950

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