Russian embassy says met with Russians on seized tanker Stena Impero in Iran

Sputnik – The Russian Embassy in Tehran said on Saturday that its diplomats have met with the Russian crew of the UK-flagged tanker Stena Impero that was detained by Iran last week and confirmed that the sailors are in good health and will remain on board for now.

The Russian Embassy’s spokesperson, Andrey Ganenko said that the Stena Impero’s crew members are allowed to contact their relatives, albeit with certain restrictions, and are provided with all essentials.

“The Russian diplomats met with our compatriots – crew members of the detained tanker Stena Impero. The sailors are in good health and they remain on board for now. The embassy maintains close contact with our Iranian partners in regards to when the sailors can return home”, the embassy posted on Twitter.

A picture taken on July 21, 2019, shows Iranian Revolutionary Guards patrolling around the British-flagged tanker Stena Impero as it’s anchored off the Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas.

The British tanker was detained by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards on 19 July after Tehran stated the vessel had violated maritime laws, ignored warnings by the military, switched off its positioning device, and collided with an Iranian fishing boat.

The Islamic Republic stressed, however, that Stena Impero’s arrest was not a “retaliation” for the detention of the Grace 1 in Gibraltar. British authorities detained the tanker, carrying Iranian oil, claiming it had been sailing for Syria in violation of EU sanctions, something which Tehran has denied.