British-flagged tanker heads into Dubai port

DUBAI (AFP) – The British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero headed into port in Dubai yesterday after being held off the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas for more than two months, according to authorities and a tracking website.

The ship’s seizure was widely seen as a tit-for-tat move after authorities in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar detained an Iranian tanker on suspicion it was shipping oil to Syria in breach of European Union (EU) sanctions. Tehran repeatedly denied the cases were related. The vessel sailed from Iran and into the international waters of the Gulf on Friday morning, according to local authorities.

“Despite the vessel’s clearance, its legal case is still open in Iran’s courts,” Hormozgan province’s maritime organisation said on its website. The tanker’s captain and crew have “given a written, official statement that they have no claims”, it added.