The owner of the seized tanker, Stena Impero, met the Iranian Foreign Minister on August 20 in Stockholm to ask for the release of the vessel and its 23 crew members.
Stena Bulk’s CEO Erik Hanell and Iran’s Mohammad Javad Zarif had “a constructive dialogue” on the release of the vessel held in Bandar Abbas since July 19, according to Stena Bulk’s statement.
“It was important for us to emphasize the importance of the release of the 23 crew members of Indian, Russian, Latvian and Filipino nationalities, who have now been held on board for nearly five weeks… Also for the release of the Swedish-owned vessel Stena Impero,” Hanell noted.
Stena Bulk has written to all the leaders of the countries who have crew members detained on board the tanker seeking support for their release.
The 46,575 cbm Stena Impero was seized by Iranian forces in what was perceived as a retaliatory measure after a 300,000 dwt tanker Grace 1 was detained in Gibraltar in early July on suspicion that it was carrying a shipment of Iranian crude oil to Syria.
On August 15, Gibraltar authorities released the supertanker Grace 1 after receiving written assurance from the Republic of Iran that the ship’s destination would not be an entity subject to European Union sanctions. In preparation for departure from Gibraltar, Grace 1 was renamed Adrian Darya 1, reflagged to the Iranian flag and re-insured.