Stena Bulk Demands Access to Stena Impero Tanker

stena impero seized by iran
Stena Impero, a British-flagged vessel owned by Stena Bulk, is seen at Bandar Abbas port, July 21, 2019. Picture taken July 21, 2019. Iran, Mizan News Agency/WANA Handout via REUTERS

Stena Bulk is still awaiting permission from the Iranian authorities to visit the Stena Impero tanker that was seized in the Strait of Hormuz on July 19.

All 23 crew members, from India, Russia, Latvia and the Philippines, remain in good health and continue to have limited contact with family back home, Stena Bulk, the vessel’s commercial operator, said in an update Monday.

The tanker remains at anchor in Bandar Abbas, Iran.

India, Russia and Philippines Embassy officials have attended the vessel and have met with crew members from their respective countries. However, Stena Bulk says it is still awaiting permission to visit the vessel.

The UK-flagged Stena Impero was seized by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard as it transited the Strait of Hormuz towards Saudi Arabia on July 19. Iran has accused the vessel of being involved in a collision with a small Iranian boat, although no evidence related to a collision has been presented.

“Following a letter from Iranian authorities to the United Nations Security Council outlining alleged violations of international rules and regulations, including an unconfirmed collision, Stena Bulk and Northern Marine Management consider it imperative we are granted access to the vessel to conduct a full assessment,” Swedish-based Stena Bulk said in a statement on Monday. “We continue to await a response from Iranian authorities to our request.”

“As previously stated, from the information we have, there is no current evidence the ship has breached any maritime rules or regulations, and we stand behind the professionalism and conduct of the crew of the Stena Impero.

“We hope this situation can be resolved swiftly and will continue to hold an open dialogue with all involved governments and authorities to secure the release of the crew and vessel,” the statement added.