The British-flagged oil tanker, Stena Impero which was seized by Iran in July, has reached the Dubai port on early Saturday, as per ship-tracking websites and reporters. The ship had left the Iranian port on September 27 and reached the coast of Dubai on the very next day, as per reports. The vessel was held off at Bandar Abbas by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) for over two months.
According to reports, Erik Hanell, the CEO of Stena Bulk, the Swedish firm that operates the vessel had said that the crew members onboard the vessel are "safe and in high spirits" following their release by Iran. As many as 23 crew members, including 18 Indian nationals were on board the vessel. The company, however, did not release the names of the crew members.
He also stated that arrangements have been made for them for a safe return to their families. "The crew will have a period of time to be with their families following 10 weeks of detainment on the vessel. Full support will be offered to the crew and families in the coming weeks to assist with their recovery," he said.
Iran seized the tanker on July 19 in the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf through which 20% of all oil passes. Iran detained the Stena Impero tanker on allegations that it had violated maritime regulations while passing through the Strait of Hormuz.
The seizure came after British marines helped take control of an Iranian supertanker on July 4. Authorities in Gibraltar, a British overseas territory, seized the ship carrying $130 million in crude oil on suspicion it was breaking European Union sanctions by taking the oil to Syria. Gibraltar later released the tanker, then called the Grace 1, after it said Iran promised the ship wouldn’t go to Syria. Earlier this month, Iran released seven crew members of the Stena Impero. Sixteen stayed on board.
(With agency inputs)