TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Iran is to release the crew aboard a British oil tanker that was captured in the Strait of Hormuz in July for violating international maritime regulations, the Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.
Speaking to the state TV on Wednesday, Abbas Mousavi said judicial procedures are underway in connection with Britain’s “Stena Impero” oil tanker, which was captured by the Iranian military forces in July for violation of maritime law when passing through the high-traffic Strait of Hormuz.
The spokesman also noted that Iran has asked the UK oil tanker’s captain, on humanitarian grounds, to disembark his crew if possible, so that the sailors could go back to their respective countries.
“The British ship’s captain decided to let seven Indian crew members leave the vessel, who can return to their homeland soon,” Mousavi explained.
On July 19, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy captured Stena Impero because the UK vessel had switched off its GPS locator, in contravention of international regulations, and was sailing into the Strait of Hormuz in a wrong traffic pattern.
The British tanker was entering the strait from the southern route which is an exit path, increasing the risk of an accident
Moreover, Stena Impero had not heeded any of the warnings from the Iranian Ports and Maritime Organization.
An informed source said the UK oil tanker was also polluting the Persian Gulf water heavily by dumping crude oil residue.
The IRGC Navy captured the British oil tanker at the request of the Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran’s office in the province of Hormozgan.