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Iran will release 7 crew members of the detained British tanker

The spokesperson for the Islamic Republic’s ministry of foreign affairs, Abbas Mousavi says Tehran will release seven crewmembers of the British tanker Stena Impero which has been detained by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in the Persian Gulf.

The owner of the ship says there has been no confirmation of their release.

On Wednesday, Mousavi told the press: “We have no problems with the crew and the captain of the ship. The ship has committed violations and it has been detained. Naturally, when a ship is detained, the crew are also detained with it.”

“In continuation of our humanitarian policies, we asked the captain of the ship to let the crew go back to their country,” Mousavi said.

He added that the captain himself chose 7 Indian crewmembers and they will be allowed to leave Iran soon.

Stena Bulk, the ship’s Swedish operating company that owns Stena Impero announced in a statement: “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.”

Stena Bulk’s statement says that 16 crewmembers will remain on Stena Impero to navigate it.

Less than two months ago, in response to the seizure of the Iranian supertanker Grace1 in Gibraltar, the IRGC detained Stena Impero while passing through the Strait of Hormuz for what it called “violation of international maritime laws and conventions.”

Out of the 23 crewmembers of Stena Impero, 18 are Indian and five are from Russia, Philippines, and Lithuania.   

Tehran had previously released 9 crewmembers of Riah, another detained tanker.

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