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Stena Impero released by Iran

The British-flagged, Swedish-owned, tanker Stena Impero and its crew have been released by the Iranian authorities over two months after it was seized.

In a statement on Friday Erik Hanell, president and ceo of Stena Bulk said: “Stena Bulk and Northern Marine Management confirm the Stena Impero and its crew have been released.”

The 16 crew that have been held on the vessel since 19 July will disembark in Dubai. “The vessel has left the port of Bandar Abbas and is transiting to Dubai for the crew to disembark and receive medical checks and de-briefing,” Hanell said.

“The families of crew members have been informed and the Company is currently making arrangements for the repatriation of its valued seafarers at the earliest possible opportunity.”

Seven non-essential crew had been released by Iran on 6 September.

Read all the Seatrade Maritime News coverage of the seizure of the Stena Impero

The Stena Impero was seized by Iran on 19 July with the Iranian authorities claiming it had collided with a small fishing vessel and broken international maritime regulations.

It has widely been seen as a tit-for-tat action by the Iranians following the seizure of the Iranian tanker Grace 1 two weeks earlier off Gibraltar by the British Navy for alleged sanction busting with Syria, which Iran characterised as an act of “piracy”. The Grace 1 has since been released.


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