Iran released seven of 23 crew of British-flagged tanker Stena Impero seized earlier in July, Sweden’s foreign minister said.
The Swedish-owned Stena Impero was detained by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards on July 19 in the Strait of Hormuz for alleged marine violations two weeks after Britain detained an Iranian tanker off Gibraltar. That vessel was released in August.
Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said in a statement the Swedish embassy in Tehran confirmed seven crew were released.
“I note with relief part of the crew has been released. I look forward to the release of the ship and the rest of the crew. This is gratifying for the crew and their relatives,” Wallstrom said.
The statement did not say which crew members were released or mention their current whereabouts.
Wallstrom said Sweden was in daily contact with Iran, on a high political level since the vessel was seized.
“It was an important item on the agenda when I met Foreign Minister Zarif in Stockholm. Although the ship is British-flagged, we have done everything we could to assist,” Wallstrom said.
On Wednesday Erik Hanell, Stena Bulk’s chief executive and president, said the seven members would be released and the remaining crew would stay aboard to safely operate the vessel.
Also on Wednesday, Iran’s state television reported Tehran would free seven of the crew on humanitarian grounds.