Published On: Tue, Aug 6th, 2019

Stena Impero: Iran condemned for continued detention of UK-flagged tanker by owner | UK | News

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Stena Bulk’s chief executive and president Erik Hanell blasted Tehran for seizing the vessel in the Strait of Hormuz 19 days ago and failing to return it. He said: “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.” The ship was seized on July 19.

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

He also said a consulate visit to the tanker took place on August 3.

He said: “We want to emphasise the difficult circumstances they are enduring as a result of this ongoing situation.”

Mr Hennell’s remarks come after a chilling warning by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

READ MORE: Iran chaos: Iran seizes foreign oil tanker ‘smuggling fuel’

He said that shipping in the Strait could to be guarantee as safe and that a “war with Iran is the mother of all wars”.

Britain has joined forces with US President Donald Trump to establish a maritime security mission in the Gulf to protect vessels, though new Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the UK wil not particuipate in sanctions against the Middle East nation. 

Iran claimed the tanker had been seized for claims of marine violations and allowed a second one to proceed after issuing a warning.

Fears of a Middle East war with global repercussions have risen since US president Donald Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal and revived a panoply of sanctions meant to push Tehran into wider security concessions.

The British-owned region’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said at the time: “Last week we acted because we had reasonable grounds to believe that this vessel was taking actions in breach of established EU sanctions against Syria. These actions would be contrary to the law of Gibraltar, as the EU sanctions are contained in an EU regulation which has been directly applicable in Gibraltar since 2012.

“After laboratory testing, the cargo has now been confirmed to be 2.1 million barrels of light crude oil.

“We will not allow Gibraltar to be used or to be knowingly or unknowingly complicit in the breach of EU or other international sanctions or for any of the matters which our laws prohibit.”



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