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Iran Press TV

Iran 'doing casualty investigation' involving seized British-flagged ship

Iran Press TV

Sun Jul 21, 2019 08:47AM

A senior Iranian shipping official says Iran has been conducting a maritime casualty investigation into an unsafe maneuver by the British-flagged oil tanker seized in the Strait of Hormuz.

In an interview with Press TV on Sunday, Allah-Morad Afifipoor, the head of the Ports and Maritime Organization in southern Hormozgan Province, said that the 30,000-tonne British-flagged Stena Impero tanker had not responded to pertinent authorities after an accident involving an Iranian fishing boat on Friday and had instead changed route, endangering maritime safety and grossly violating maritime rules.

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) guided the vessel to the port in Iran's Bandar Abbas so that a maritime casualty investigation could be conducted into the incident, Afifipoor added.

Asked about how long the probe might last, he said it depended on the cooperation of the vessel's crew and the Iranian authorities' access to relevant documents.

The official also stressed that all the 23 crew, with Indian, Russian, Philippine, and Latvian nationalities, were safe and sound aboard the ship, which has anchored in a safe location chosen by its captain.

The IRGC impounded Stena Impero on Friday when it was passing through the Strait of Hormuz en route to Saudi Arabia "for failing to respect international maritime rules."

It came 15 days after British naval forces unlawfully seized Iranian-owned supertanker Grace 1 and its cargo of 2.1 million barrels of oil in the Strait of Gibraltar.

Iran has condemned the seizure of its tanker as "maritime piracy."

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