Detained British-flagged tanker heads out of Iran waters

A British-flagged oil tanker, which had been held off the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas for more than two months, has set sail, a specialist shipping website reported on Tuesday (September 24th).

Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei had announced on Monday that "the legal process has finished" and the Swedish-owned vessel was free to leave, AFP reported.

"This morning's satellite imagery captured by @planetlabs reveals that the #StenaImpero is NO LONGER ANCHORED at this location (27.07° N, 56.25° E)," TankerTrackers.com said on its Twitter account.

"She has been there since the second week of August."

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) surrounded the Stena Impero with attack boats before rappelling onto the deck of the tanker in the Strait of Hormuz on July 19th.

The vessel was impounded at Bandar Abbas port for allegedly failing to respond to distress calls and turning off its transponder after hitting a fishing boat.

Stena Bulk, the company that owns the tanker, said on Sunday that it expected the vessel to be released soon, but had expressed caution about the situation.

Tensions in the Gulf have soared since May due to Iran's escalating campaign of unprofessional interactions that appear to be intended to provoke an international response.

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