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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 21 August, 2019
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British oil tanker with 23 crew seized by Iran's Revolutionary Guards

The operator of oil tanker Stena Impero says it is unable to contact the ship.

A track of the ship's course from MarineTraffic.com
A track of the ship's course from MarineTraffic.com

IRAN’S REVOLUTIONARY GUARDS announced that they had confiscated a British tanker in the strategic Strait of Hormuz for breaking “international maritime rules”.

The Stena Impero tanker “was confiscated by the Revolutionary Guards at the request of Hormozgan Ports and Maritime Organisation when passing through the strait of Hormuz, for failing to respect international maritime rules,” the Guards’ official website Sepahnews announced.

The operator of oil tanker Stena Impero says it is unable to contact the ship after it was approached by unidentified vessels and a helicopter in the Strait of Hormuz.

Northern Marine Management and shipping firm Stena Bulk say in a statement that the vessel was in international waters and is now heading toward Iran. The ship has 23 crew aboard.

The British government says it is urgently seeking information after reports Iran has seized the ship.

The move comes amid tensions between the nations after an Iranian tanker called Grace 1 was detained in Gibraltar, a British overseas territory on Spain’s southern tip.

Authorities said they suspected the tanker was carrying crude to Syria in violation of EU sanctions.

Iran insists the vessel was intercepted in international waters and had threatened to seize a British tanker in response. 

- With reporting by © -AFP 2019 and Associated Press

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Rónán Duffy

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