Stockholm, Sep 24: British-flagged Stena Impero is still in Iran despite their officials’ announcement they released the vessel and that it was free to leave, Stena Bulk Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Erik Hanell stated on Tuesday.
On Monday, Hamid Baeidinejad, Iranian ambassador to the United Kingdom (UK), said via a tweet on his official twitter account the Swedish-owned ship was free to leave the region after clearing several legal hurdles.
“The legal work and administrative procedures for the release of the English tanker have been completed but I have no information on the time of the release,” said Ali Rabiei, spokesperson for the Iranian government, as per to semi-official ILNA news agency on Sunday.
“She has moved during her time there to get fresh water, among other things, but is still in Bandar Abbas,” Hanell said in a text message, adding he contains no information why the Steno Impero vessel had yet not left Iran.
The Iranian media has on Sunday reported Tehran released the seized British Stena Impero oil tanker, two months after it captured the vessel in the Strait of Hormuz over the alleged “maritime violations” charges.
Iran’s Hormozgan maritime and ports general manager Allahmorad Afifipour announced the release of the British oil tanker, stating the ship would begin transiting from Iran’s Bandar Abbad port to the international waters very “soon”.
On July 20, UK foreign minister Jeremy Hunt expressed deep concern that Iran had taken a “dangerous” path a day after Tehran reportedly captured a British-flagged oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz on July 19.
Senior Iranian authorities have cautioned against any attempts to establish an international alliance to secure shipping in the Gulf, with Tehran’s first vice president warning the move will just carry instability to the locale.
The reaction comes after Denmark, France, the Netherlands, and Italy supported a British proposal for a European maritime force after Iran captured a UK-flagged oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, according to Al-Jazeera news reports.
Relations between Iran and the UK have been stressed since British officials seized an Iranian oil tanker off the coast of Gibraltar earlier this month on doubt it was shipping crude oil to Syria in violation of the European Union (EU) sanctions. Iran has blamed Britain for acting at the command of the United States and requested the immediate release arrival of its vessel.