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Iran Keeps A Card In Its Pocket As It Releases Stena Impero

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Stena Impero, the British Tanker

The British flagged and Swedish owned Stena Impero has finally been released by Iran and is moved out of the Bandar Abbas port in Iran, on its way to Dubai.  This would be a temporary pit-stop where the crew would be repatriated, after being detained since July.

This is the only time when Iran has kept its part of the bargain with any of its promises it has made to the Downing Street. Britain has been extremely disappointed with Iran’s attitude towards detaining a few dual citizenship individuals in Tehran, under one pretext or the other.

While the ship has moved, Iran’s Foreign Ministry has said that the judicial file on the vessel will remain open looking into “violations” by the ship was ongoing. It has taken Iran far longer time to respond to the release of the ship and its crew, in comparison to Britain that facilitated the release of the Adrian Darya-1 (then Grace-1) supertanker at the end of August itself.

The US sanctioned  Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps had detained the Stena Impero in retaliation when it was passing through international waters in the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow waterway that connects the Gulf and the Indian Ocean, on 19 July.

It is now being also confirmed that Abbas Mousavi, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson has shared that there are charges of “violations and damages inflicted on the environment’ levied and therefore the case against the ship remains open.

The owner of the ship has confirmed to cooperation to any valid charges, which he states the company is completely unaware of and nothing of it has been communicated to him.

Iran had earlier released seven out of a lot of the whole crew on the so-called ‘humanitarian grounds’, individuals which have been seen as non-essential and that could not hold on for any leverage against Britain. Those detained included Indians, Russian and a Filipino crew member.

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