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Owners of seized Stena Impero put formal request to Iran to visit crew

Stena Bulk has put in a formal request to visit the crew of the British-flagged tanker Stena Impero held off Iran since it was seized on Friday, as the owners and managers continue to focus on the safe return of the crew.

The Stena Impero was seized by Iran in international waters in the Straits of Hormuz in an apparent tit-fot-tat action following British naval forces seizing the tanker Grace 1 off Gibraltar two weeks earlier for alleged sanctions busting with Syria.

The Stena Impero has 23 seafarers onboard of Indian, Russian, Latvian and Filipino nationalities and the crew are reported to be in “good health”.

Erik Harnell, president and chief executive of Stena Bulk, said on Sunday: “I can confirm a formal request for permission to visit the 23 crew members of the Stena Impero has been made to the authorities at the Port of Bandar Abbas.

"The request has been acknowledged, but we await a formal response. In the meantime, we will continue to co-operate and liaise with all appropriate authorities.”

He said the the focus Stena Bulk and Northern Marine Management continued to be on the welfare and safe return of our crew and supporting their families.

Read more: Industry 'extremely concerned' over Iran seizure of British-flagged tanker in Straits of Hormuz

The vessel is currently anchored off the Port of Bandar Abbas.

The seizure of the tanker has caused a major political storm in the UK with the government failing to anticipate the need to protect British ships in the Gulf region following the seizure of the Grace 1.

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