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Detention of UK-Flagged Tanker by Iran’s Regime Unacceptable: Owner

Detention of UK-Flagged Tanker by Iran's Regime Unacceptable: Owner

The continued detention of British-flagged tanker Stena Impero by the Iranian regime is “unacceptable and unjustifiable” and there are concerns for the welfare of the crew after 19 days in confinement, the vessel’s owner said on Tuesday.

The Iranian regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) on July 19 seized the Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz waterway in violation of maritime law. That came two weeks after Britain seized an Iranian oil tanker near Gibraltar for violating sanctions on Syria.

Britain has repeatedly ruled out any swap of tankers.

The saga has exacerbated frictions between Tehran and the West since the United States pulled out of an international agreement curbing the Iranian regime’s nuclear program and reimposed economic sanctions.

Stena Bulk’s chief executive and president Erik Hanell said the company had limited communication with the crew onboard, according to Reuters.

“Although they remain in good health considering the circumstances, we continue to be concerned about their welfare given the amount of time they have been in confinement,” he said in a statement.

The vessel’s 23 seafarers are of Indian, Russian, Latvian and Filipino nationality, the company has said.

Hanell said a Finnish consulate visit to the vessel, on behalf of Latvian authorities, took place on August 3.

“The Finnish representative advised that the crew were in good health, however the duration of their confinement remains of considerable concern to the crew,” Hanell said.

“We want to emphasize the difficult circumstances they are enduring as a result of this ongoing situation.”

The company said it had yet to receive an official answer from the authorities in Iran over its request to visit the vessel.

The Iranian regime’s President Hassan Rouhani threatened on Tuesday that the regime would continue to disrupt shipping in the Strait of Hormuz, unless its demands were met.

Britain on Monday joined the United States in a maritime security mission in the Gulf to protect merchant vessels sailing through the Strait of Hormuz.