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22 Jul, 2019 00:34

Iranian TV shows national flag flown on seized British ship (VIDEO)

Iranian TV shows national flag flown on seized British ship (VIDEO)

Iranian state TV has released footage showing the UK-registered oil tanker Stena Impero with an Iranian flag hoisted over it. The vessel appears to be docked at the port of Bandar Abbas on Iran’s southern coast.

In a video posted by Press TV on Sunday, the Swedish-owned ship that sailed under the UK flag is seen brandishing Iran's green, white and red banner. The short clip also shows a patrol boat that appears to be circling the waters near the vessel. The ship appears empty except for several people that can be seen on the upper deck.

Iran has accused the Stena Impero's crew of ignoring a distress signal after an “accident” with a shipping boat. Tehran says the tanker instead changed its course, sailing in the wrong direction of a shipping lane.

The head of the Ports and Maritime Organization in Iran’s southern Hormozgan Province, Allah-Morad Afifipoor, told Press TV that it’s unclear how much time the probe will take, saying it would depend on the crew’s cooperation and Tehran’s ability to obtain the relevant documentation.

On Saturday, Iranian news agency ISNA said the crew, which consists of 18 Indians, three Russians, a Latvian national, and a Filipino, remains on board and may be subject to “technical questioning.”

Also on rt.com British tanker was in Omani waters, Iran violated intl law by seizing it – UK Shipping Chamber

The UK, in a letter to the UN Security Council, challenged the Iranian Navy's account, saying the Stena Impero was seized in Omani territorial waters and had done nothing wrong.

A recently-surfaced tense radio exchange between the Iranian Navy and the British frigate HMS Montrose, which was near the site of the incident, shows the British side advising the Stena Impero to defy Iran's demands. "As you are conducting transit passage in a recognized international strait, under international law your passage must not be impaired, impeded, obstructed or hampered,” the Montrose radioed to the tanker. The Iranians said that they intended "no challenge" and needed to inspect the vessel for “security reasons.”

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