STOCKHOLM, July 21. /TASS/. Crew members of the Stena Impero oil tanker, detained by the Iranian authorities in the Strait of Hormuz on Friday, are feeling well, the head of the ship’s Swedish owner Stena Bulk said in an interview with the SVT TV channel.
"The crew is feeling well, given the present circumstances," Stena Bulk President and Chief Executive Erik Hanell said.
According to him, this information about the ship’s crew, comprising 23 people from Lithuania, India, Russia and The Philippines, came from the insurance company.
Stena Bulk said in a statement on its website that insurers in the region have been in contact with the Head of Marine Affairs at the Port of Bandar Abbas, who has reported that the crew members of our vessel Stena Impero are in ‘good health’ and that the tanker is at the nearby Bandar Bahonar anchorage.
The Iranian side has asked a formal request be made for a visit to be arranged to the crew members and vessel, and this request is now being prepared, the company said. However, the port administration received no instructions so far as to what will happen to the ship.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a phone conversation with his UK counterpart Jeremy Hunt on Saturday that "the issue of the UK tanker’s detention will be subjected to court examination in his country," Sky News Arabia reported. Zarif earlier wrote on his Twitter page that all of Iran’s actions in the Persian Gulf are in line with the international maritime law.
Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency said on Friday that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), an elite military force of the Islamic Republic, seized the UK-flagged tanker Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz for "the violations of international maritime regulations." According to the IRGC, the tanker was escorted towards the shore for further investigation.
Al Arabiya quoted an IRGC source as saying that the tanker was escorted by a UK warship.
UK Secretary of Defense Penny Mordaunt and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said in separate interviews to Sky News that the tanker was in Oman’s territorial waters when its was detained, not on Iran’s territory.
On Saturday afternoon, the UK British Foreign Office said it had summoned the Iranian charge d'affaires regarding the Stena Impero situation.
Meanwhile, the Telegraph reported on Saturday that the UK government is drafting a plan of sanctions over the incident. According to the paper, Secretary Hunt may announce a package of diplomatic and economic restrictions on Iran on Sunday, including measures to freeze Iranian assets.
Besides, the United Kingdom may also call upon the EU and UN to restore the international sanctions against Iran, lifted in 2016 as part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear program.