Iran to release crew of UK-flagged tanker, as Tehran’s vessel goes off grid near Syria,

Iran will release seven crew members of the British-flagged tanker it captured in July on vague charges of violating maritime law, a fortnight after Gibraltar released an Iranian supertanker it had held at the behest of the US.

Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman said Iran would release five Indians, one Russian and a Latvian who are crew members aboard the Stena Impero, which Iran seized in 19 July along the Strait of Hormuz in apparent response to Gibraltar’s earlier capture of an Iranian oil tanker, the Grace 1, now renamed the Adrian Darya 1.

“They have left the vessel and the final procedures are underway to send them back to their countries,” Seyyed Abbas Mousavi, the Iranian foreign ministry spokesman, said in a televised appearance. […]

The UK and Gibraltar seized the Adrian Darya 1 following allegations the ship was taking its load of 2.1 million barrels of oil to a refinery on the Syrian coast, in violation of European Union sanctions.

Gibraltar, backed by the UK, agreed to release the ship after Iran formally promised the oil would head elsewhere. But reports and ship-tracking data on Tuesday suggested that the Adrian Darya 1 had moored off the coast of Syria and was unloading its oil onto smaller vessels to take them to port. Läs artikel