UPDATE 1-Iran may release British-flagged tanker within hours, Swedish owner saysReuters | Stockholm | Updated: 22-09-2019 18:24 IST | Created: 22-09-2019 17:43 IST
The chief executive of the Swedish firm that owns the Stena Impero, the British-flagged tanker detained by Tehran on July 19, said on Sunday he had been informed that the vessel may be released within a few hours.
The Stena Impero was detained by Iran's Revolutionary Guards in the Strait of Hormuz waterway for alleged marine violations, two weeks after Britain detained an Iranian tanker off the territory of Gibraltar. That vessel was released in August. Erik Hanell, chief executive of Stena Bulk, told the Swedish public broadcaster SVT: "We have received information now this morning that it seems like they will release the ship Stena Impero within a few hours. So we understand that the political decision to release the ship has been taken."
"We hope to be able to head out within a few hours, but we don't want to anticipate events. We want to see that the ship sails out of Iranian territorial waters," Hanell told SVT. Hanell did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
On Sept. 4, Iran released seven of the vessel's 23 crew members. Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said at the time that Sweden had been in daily contact with Iran at a high political level since the vessel was seized. (Reporting By Anna Ringstrom Writing by Raissa Kasolowsky Editing by Giles Elgood)