While Tehran claims that the seizure came after the vessel was involved in a collision with a fishing vessel, the incident was considered as a retaliation to the seizure of the Iranian 'Grace 1' by UK Royal Marines near Gibraltar, over suspected breach of EU sanctions earlier in July, further escalating diplomatic tensions in the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz, a major shipping line for world's oil supply.
In their latest update on 28 July, Stena Bulk informed they continue to work closely with the authorities to secure the release of the ship and its 23 crew members, along with the ships manager, Northern Marine Management.
Following a letter from Iranian authorities to the UN 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. We continue to await a response from Iranian authorities to our request,
...the company said.
The crew members remain in good health and continue to have limited contact with family members, Stena further noted.
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 vessel remains at anchor in Bandar Abbas.