Iran to Release UK Flagged Oil Tanker
(Bloomberg) -- Iran said that it will release a UK-flagged oil tanker it has detained for nearly two months, a conciliatory gesture as the fallout from the weekend’s attack on Saudi Arabia’s biggest oil plant raises the risk of conflict in the region.
The Stena Impero will be released “in days,” said Abbas Mousavi, spokesman at the foreign ministry in Tehran. The judicial process for the release of the vessel is almost finalized and once bureaucratic procedures have been cleared the ship can leave Iran, he said.
The Iranian government is facing increased pressure since two Saudi oilfields and a major oil processing plant were hit on Saturday. The U.S. has blamed Iran for carrying out the attacks, which wiped out about 5% of global supplies. Iran has denied the accusation, while Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility.
Iran seized the Stena Impero on July 19 shortly after the U.K. detained a vessel in Gibraltar that was allegedly carrying Iranian crude to Syria. Last month, Gibraltar released that ship, which has been renamed the Adrian Darya 1. Gibraltar and the U.K. have since accused the vessel of delivering its cargo to Syria.
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