Will Iran seize more British oil tankers?

Iran wants to release British oil tankers

Iran wants to allow the British oil tanker "Stena Impero", which has been confiscated in the Strait of Hormuz since mid-July, to sail again. "The investigations are almost over, there are only a few bureaucratic steps left, and it seems that the ship will soon be released," said Foreign Office spokesman Abbas Mousavi on Monday, according to the Fars news agency.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guards arrested the ship on July 19 on charges of disregarding the law of the sea in the Persian Gulf. The British government suspected that the capture of the "Stena Impero" was a reaction to an incident in Gibraltar.

Britain accuses Iran of oil shipments to Syria

A supertanker with oil from Iran, which is said to have been destined for Syria, was chained there at the beginning of July. According to the authorities, the delivery violated EU sanctions that had been imposed on Syria, a country with a civil war. Iran spoke of "piracy" and threatened consequences. A court in Gibraltar released the ship, which was renamed from "Grace-1" to "Adrian Darya-1", in mid-August. London vehemently rejected the assumption that it was an exchange deal with the "Stena Impero".

Satellite photos show the tanker "Adrian Darya-1" after it was allowed to leave Gibraltar off the coast of Syria. Source: Uncredited / Planet Labs Inc / dpa

The Strait of Hormuz is one of the most important sea routes in the world. It connects the Persian Gulf with the Indian Ocean. Much of the global oil export is shipped through the strait. Tensions in the region had intensified immensely in the past few months. Merchant shipping was drawn into the US-Iran conflict. There were several incidents involving tankers and drones.

RND / dpa