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Stena Impero tipped to be released soon

State television in Sweden is reporting that the Stena Impero, impounded at the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas for the past 35 days, could be released soon.

SVT reported last night, citing sources within Sweden’s foreign ministry, that the Stena Bulk tanker could be released in the next few days. The UK-flagged ship was taken while transiting the Strait of Hormuz on July 19, likely in retaliation for British armed forces seizing an Iranian VLCC, Grace 1, on July 4, a ship now renamed Adrian Darya-1 that has since been released and is heading east across the Mediterranean.

Stena Bulk president Eric Hanell met with the Iranian foreign minister earlier this week and diplomats from the affected crew have been holding dialogue with officials in Tehran in recent days.

Iran has dismissed reports that the Stena Bulk ship was taken in retaliation for the Grace 1 seizure, claiming the UK-flagged ship was involved in a maritime accident, something Stena Bulk has consistently denied.

Linked to the Stena Impero’s release, Iranian media has reported that a court case is now underway in Bandar Abbas looking into the tanker’s alleged navigational violations.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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