Iran government spokesman says legal steps for UK tanker Stena Impero release completed

A picture taken on July 21, 2019, shows Iranian Revolutionary Guards patrolling around the British-flagged tanker Stena Impero as it's anchored off the Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas.
Hasan Shirvani | AFP | Getty Images

An Iranian government spokesman said on Monday all legal steps had been completed for the release of the detained British tanker Stena Impero but that he did not know the timing of the release, the semi-official news agency ILNA reported.

"The legal work and administrative procedures for the release of the English tanker have been completed but I have no information on the time of the release," said government spokesman Ali Rabiei, according to ILNA.

The semi-official Fars news agency Fars quoted Rabiei as saying: "The legal work of the oil tanker is over ... and the oil tanker can move and the decisions indicate the end of the detention." He did not elaborate.

The British-flagged tanker was detained by Iran's Revolutionary Guards in the Strait of Hormuz waterway on July 19 for alleged marine violations, two weeks after Britain seized an Iranian tanker off Gibraltar. That vessel was released in August.

The legal case against the ship is still open and the results of the case will be announced, the head of the Ports and Maritime Organisation of Iran in Hormozgan Province, Allahmorad Afifipour, said on Sunday.