Iran Says British Tanker Is Free to Go After 2 Months of Detention – The New York Times
The legal proceedings against the Stena Impero have concluded, and Iran has decided to waive alleged violations, an Iranian government spokesman, Ali Rabiyee, said at a news conference, according to Iranian and Western news agencies that were present.
The ship had not left Bandar Abbas, a port in southern Iran, as of midday, and it was not clear how quickly it would set sail. Erik Hanell, chief executive of the tanker’s owner, the shipping company Stena Bulk, told SVT, a Swedish television station, that he hoped it would be a matter of hours.
Iran detained the 23-member crew along with the ship. It released seven of them this month, but the others have remained with the vessel.
The decision to release the ship comes a little more than a week after the attack on the Saudi oil installations. Iran has denied any responsibility for the attack, a sophisticated operation involving some two dozen drones and cruise missiles. The aerial strikes damaged infrastructure and temporarily cut Saudi oil production in half, sending tremors through world markets, but they caused no reported casualties.
The Houthi rebel faction in Yemen’s civil war, a group that is known to use weapons supplied by Iran, has said it carried out the attack against Saudi Arabia, which has been bombing in Yemen for more than four years, killing thousands of people.