TEHRAN, Iran — The British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero was back in international waters after leaving an Iranian port on Friday, more than two months after being seized in the Strait of Hormuz.

The Sweden-based shipping company Stena Bulk said that the ship was on its way to Dubai. Stena Bulk head Erik Hanell said that the crew was heading there for medical examinations, among other reasons.

“It’s nice that it’s over,” he told Swedish broadcaster SVT.

The 16 crew members on board the vessel were doing well, considering the circumstances, he said, praising them for remaining professional despite the stressful situation. Hanell said the company was working to reunite the crew members with their family as quickly as possible.

The ship, which was anchored in the port of Bandar Abbas, was impounded by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard on July 19 for alleged violations.

Iran had said Monday that legal investigations have been concluded and the “ship’s violations have been forgiven,” government spokesman Ali Rabiei said, according to Iran’s Fars news agency.


However, the company had been waiting for “some sort of notification” before it would set off, Hanell said.

The seizure in the strategically important shipping route in the Gulf has caused tensions between Iran and other countries in the region, as well as with Britain and the United States.

Britain’s Foreign Ministry said Friday that the ship was “unlawfully seized by Iran. It is part of a pattern of attempts to disrupt freedom of navigation. We are working with our international partners to protect shipping and uphold the international rule of law.”

London suspects the seizure of the Stena Impero was in response to a similar incident in which an Iranian ship, the Adrian Darya 1, formerly the Grace 1, was captured off Gibraltar over suspicions it was carrying Iranian oil to war-torn Syria.


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