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Iran lifts detention on British oil tanker after Europe blame

Sep 24, 2019
2 min read
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An Iranian official on Monday said Stena Impero, the British oil tanker it seized in July, is free to leave, after some European leaders blamed Tehran for recent attached on Saudi Aramco facilities.

In July, Iran’s revolution guards seized the tanker near the Strait of Hormuz, which has since been detained at its port for not observing international maritime regulations. 

The incident followed an Iranian tanker captured by the Royal British Navy near Gibraltar on suspicion of taking oil to Syria against EU sanctions, although Iran has said its actions were not retaliatory.

Iran's Ambassador to London Hamid Baeidinejad said on Monday that seizure on British-flagged tanker was lifted after legal and judicial procedures were completed, according to state news agency IRNA, and the crew on board was released by Iran in a humanitarian move last month.

Meanwhile, British foreign ministry said the British tanker Stena Impero and its crew are still detained in Iran.

Iran’s statement comes after Europeans powers Britain, Germany and France backed the United States and blamed Tehran for a recent attack on Saudi oil facilities.

After meeting at the United Nations on the sidelines of the annual gathering, leaders of the three European countries issued a joint statement, urging Tehran to agree to new talks with world powers on its nuclear and missile programs and regional security issues.

Saudi Aramco plants were attacked in drone strikes on Sept. 14, bringing down production by almost a half for the world’s largest oil exporter.

The target was Aramco plants Abqaiq and Khurais. These are the main processing centres for Saudi Arabia's Arab Extra Light and Arab Light crude oil, to prepare the crude for export.

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