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  3. The crew of British tanker seized by Iran are safe
The crew of British tanker seized by Iran are safe

The crew of British tanker seized by Iran are safe

The Stena Impero and its 23 crewmembers were captured by Iranian forces last Friday and remained uncontactable until yesterday.

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President Hassan Rouhani suggested on Wednesday that Iran might release a U.K.-flagged ship if Britain takes similar steps to release an Iranian oil tanker seized by the British Royal Navy off Gibraltar earlier this month.

His remarks could create an opening to reduce tensions as Boris Johnson becomes prime minister. It’s unclear how the new government will respond to Rouhani’s suggestion or the impasse with Iran.

The Stena Impero and its 23 crewmembers were captured by Iranian forces last Friday and remained uncontactable until yesterday.

Erik Hannell, chief executive of the company that operates the tanker, Stena Bulk, expressed hope that contact was “a first sign that we will soon see more positive progress from the Iranian authorities”.

A spokesperson for Stena Bulk said they were working on getting someone onboard the ship to check the crew’s welfare, but nothing has been agreed.

Iran claimed the tanker was impounded due to a collision with a fishing boat, and not a reaction to the UK seizure of the Iranian oil tanker being held in Gilbatar.

It is rumoured that participants will lay out what their countries will contribute to the protection of the strategic waterway by way of personnel, warships and air power.

Former UK Conservative leadership candidate Jeremy Hunt previously called for a European-led mission to protect ships travelling through the vital shipping route after the US initially called for countries to protect their own ships.

Vira Maritime

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