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Another chapter in the drama on the seas may soon be over. Swedish public service broadcaster SVT says that sources within the Swedish foreign ministry has given it strong indications that Britain’s oil tanker will soon be released after Iran’s Revolutionary Guards confiscated the tanker, ostensibly for violating unspecified maritime regulations.
The British tanker Stena Impero, operated by a Swedish company, has been held since July 19.
Iran’s foreign minister has been in talks with Swedish foreign minister Margo Wallstrom about the incident.
“We look positively at what Foreign Minister Zarif himself has said publicly about hopes for a possible quick solution for Stena Impero, but we do not disclose what is said in the meetings,” a Swedish foreign ministry spokeswoman said in a statement, according to Reuters.
Just a few days ago, an Iranian tanker that was being held by Gibraltar was finally released and sent on its way to an unknown destination carrying crude oil that was originally thought to be destined to EU-sanctioned Syria. Iran denied the allegations, and gave its assurances to the Gibraltar court. Iran confiscated the Stena Impero shortly after Gibraltar detained Iran’s Grace 1 tanker on July 4, but the IRGC denies that the seizure was in retaliation. After the Grace 1 was released earlier this week, Iran refused to let the Stena Impero go, claiming that they were two separate and unrelated incidents.
Now that a few days have passed, Iran may be willing to release the Stena Impero as a separate act.
The Grace 1 tanker, since renamed Adrian Darya 1, has a number of followers, as the world is waiting to see just where the tanker ends up. Its trajectory shows it to be on a path headed for Greece, although Greece said it would not help the tanker delivery oil to Syria after prompting from the United States.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.