Iran frees seven crew of detained UK-flagged tanker Stena Impero: Mousavi

TEHRAN, Sep. 04 (MNA) – Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi said that Tehran has released seven crew members of the UK-flagged ship Stena Impero which was detained weeks ago due to violation of maritime regulations.

Confirming the news about releasing seven crew members of the ship, Mousavi said that “We don’t have any problem with crew and captain of the ship. The ship has been stopped because of it violation of laws and it is natural to detain the crew with the ship.”

“However, the consular status and individual permits of the crew were reviewed, and after further consideration and also for humanitarian grounds, some of the crew were allowed to leave the ship and return to daily life,” noted the FM spox.

He went on to say that legal proceedings of the ship’s case are underway in Iran’s judiciary, adding that Tehran has asked the ship’s captain to let off some of the crew. “The captain has decided to choose seven Indian crew members in a way that it would not harm their duties [in the ship] and to adopt measures to let them out. These individuals can soon leave the country.”

On July 19, IRGC detained the British-flagged ship, Stena Impero, in the Strait of Hormuz for failing to stop after hitting an Iranian fishing boat, a violation of international maritime rules.

IRGC Navy Commander Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri highlighted in mid-August that Port and Maritime Organization of Iran (PMO) and Iranian Judiciary system have to decide on the fate of Stena Impero, adding, “there is no relation between the release of Grace 1 from Gibraltar and the British oil tanker detained by IRGC.”

Indian Foreign Ministry officials have been in contact with the Iranian Foreign Ministry since the ship’s detainment in July to facilitate the release of 18 Indian crews of Stena Impero.

In a tweet in early August, the Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar announced that the 18 Indian crew are in good health with adequate supplies in Iran. "We are focussed on the early release and repatriation of all 18 Indian crew members of Stena Impero," he wrote, adding, "We remain in constant contact with Iranian authorities to resolve this."

MAH/ 4711029

News Code 149688


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