Jul 20, 2019, 6:35 PM
Journalist ID: 2382
News Code: 83403669
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Russia favoring political settlement of tankers’ problem

Moscow, July 20, - IRNA - Member of the International Affairs Committee of the Federation Council (Senate of Russia) announced that his country wants the developments between Iran and Britain and seizure of oil tanker to be resolved politically.

"Iran and the West’s differences may be drawn into a military conflict. I believe that the use of political mechanisms in this regard is necessary," Oleg Morozov said Saturday in an interview with the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti.

The politician noted that the recent disagreements between Iran and Britain could increase the dispute in the Persian Gulf, so that political and dialogue mechanisms should be used immediately to prevent military confrontation by both sides.

Public Relations Department of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) announced hours earlier in a statement on the seizure of an English tanker in the Strait of Hormuz.

 According to the announcement, “On Friday evening, July 19, a British tanker "Stena Impero"  crossing the Strait of Hormuz due to non-observance of the international maritime laws and regulations at the request of the Ports and Maritime Organization of Hormuzgan province, was seized by the flotilla of the 1st Zone of the IRGC Navy."

The tanker was guided to the shore after being seized and was handed over to the Ports and Maritime Organization for legal procedures and inspections.

The company's Stena Impero of the UK, the owner of the tanker, said in a statement that the tanker was seized by 23 crew members by unknown boats.

Russia's RIA Novosti news agency reported in its initial news that five Russians were present in the tanker, but later, by modifying its news, the number of Russian crew was reduced to three.

The crew of the British tanker seized by Iranian forces in the Strait of Hormuz should remain on board in compliance with safety regulations, a local Iranian official said Saturday.

Allahmorad Afifipour, director general of Ports and Maritime Affairs of Hormuzgan province, said, "There are 18 Indian and five crew members from Russia, the Philippines, Latvia and other countries on board of Stena Impero. The captain is Indian, but the tanker is UK-flagged."

"Stena Impero crashed into a fishing vessel," he said, adding that the captain of the vessel tried to make contact with the UK tanker, but there was no signal.

The Department of Ports and Maritime Affairs of Hormuzgan province was informed on the situation in compliance with the procedures, Afifipour said.

The Iranian forces, then, were informed to lead the British tanker toward Bandar Abbas so that investigation is underway over the case, the official said.

"The oil tanker led by the Navy of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps will soon give berth at Bandar Abbas anchor," he said.

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