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Detained British tanker leaves Iran after 10 weeks

The British-flagged Stena Impero tanker has sailed out of Iranian waters ten weeks after it was detained  by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

The ship was arrested in July during a row between Britain and Iran that has heightened tensions in the Gulf.

According to its owner, the British vessel left Iran’s Bandar Abbas port on Friday morning bound for Dubai, where the crew would be repatriated.

The Stena was seized in the Strait of Hormuz, a major oil shipping route, for alleged marine violations, two weeks after the British authorities detained an Iranian tanker off the territory of Gibraltar.

The Iranian ship was released in August.

Confirming the departure of the British ship, Stena Bulk CEO Erik Hanell told Reuters on Friday that “all crew members are safe and in high spirits following release”.

The crew would be receiving medical checks in Dubai and undergo de-briefing before traveling home to their families, he said.

Earlier this month, seven of Stena Impero’s twenty-three-member  crew were set free.

The seizure of the tanker ratcheted up tension after attacks in May and June on other merchant vessels in Gulf waters, which the US blamed on Iran, a charge Tehran denied.

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