- The Washington Times - Monday, September 23, 2019

The British oil tanker Stena Impero is “free to leave” more two months after Iranian forces seized the ship, Iranian ambassador to the United Kingdom Hamid Baeidinejad said in a statement Monday.

Mr. Baeidinejad said on Twitter that the Stena Impero was released “pursuant to the completion of the judicial and legal process.”

Tehran’s Revolutionary Guard — considered by the U.S. to be a terrorist organization — took hold of the Saudi Arabia-bound ship in July due to “non-compliance with international maritime laws and regulations.”

The vessel was seized in the Strait of Hormuz and transferred to an Iranian port in the Hormuzgan province. It was widely seen as retaliation for an Iranian oil tanker that was taken by British authorities in Gibraltar on suspicion it was delivering its cargo to Syria in violation of international economic sanctions.

The Iranian tanker was allowed to go earlier this month.

The release comes days after Pentagon officials announced the U.S. is deploying troops to Saudi Arabia in response to a drone and cruise missile attacks on Saudi oil facilities that the Trump administration has blamed on Tehran. Iran says it did not carry out the attacks.

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