* Stena Impero was concerned in accident, official tells Fars
* British-flagged tanker was taken to Bander Abbas
* Operator has stated vessel was in full compliance with guidelines
* Britain warns of ‘strong’ however not navy response (Provides no rapid UK remark accessible)
By Babak Dehghanpisheh
GENEVA, July 20 (Reuters) – Iran has taken a British-flagged oil tanker it seized within the Strait of Hormuz to Bandar Abbas port, the place it and its crew will stay whereas an investigation into the vessel’s conduct is carried out, Iran’s Fars information company stated on Saturday.
The Stena Impero was in an accident with an Iranian fishing boat whose misery name it ignored, the company quoted the pinnacle of Ports and Maritime Organisation in southern Hormozgan province, Allahmorad Afifipour, as saying.
It was taken to Bander Abbas, located on Iran’s southern coast and dealing with the strait. “All its 23 crew members will stay on the ship till the probe is over,” Afifipour stated. The 23 crew comprised 18 Indian nationals and 5 others of different nationalities, he stated.
The tanker’s operator, Stena Bulk, stated on Friday the ship had been “in full compliance with all navigation and worldwide laws”, however was now not below the crew’s management and couldn’t be contacted.
Britain’s international minister Jeremy Hunt stated on Friday it will reply to the seizure in a “thought of however strong” manner and was as urgently looking for details about the vessel.
Nobody was instantly accessible for remark on the Overseas Workplace early on Saturday.
The vessel had been heading to a port in Saudi Arabia and all of the sudden modified course after passing by way of the strait on the mouth of the Gulf, by way of which a fifth of the world’s oil provides go.
Already strained relations between Iran and the West have change into more and more fraught because the British navy seized Iran’s Grace 1 tanker in Gibraltar on July four on suspicion of smuggling oil to Syria in breach of EU sanctions.
Hunt warned of “severe penalties” if the Stena Impero’s scenario was not resolved shortly. Britain was nonetheless “not navy choices. We’re a diplomatic approach to resolve the scenario,” he instructed reporters.
U.S. President Donald Trump stated he would discuss to Britain about Friday’s seizure, which drove oil costs up above $62 a barrel.
America has blamed Iran for a sequence of assaults since mid-Might on transport across the Strait of Hormuz. Tehran rejects the allegations.
The incidents have elevated worldwide concern that either side may blunder right into a battle within the strategic waterway.
America is sending navy personnel and sources to Saudi Arabia for the primary time because the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 in response to the escalating tensions.
Relations between Washington and Tehran worsened final 12 months when Trump deserted a 2015 nuclear deal between world powers and Iran. Below the pact, Iran agreed to limit nuclear work, lengthy seen by the West as a canopy for growing atomic bombs, in return for lifting sanctions. However sanctions have been imposed once more, badly hurting Iran’s economic system.
(Reporting by Babak Dehghanpisheh; further reporting by Parisa Hafezi in Dubai; modifying by John Stonestreet)