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Iran guards say released seized Vietnamese tanker

By AFP   November 10, 2021 | 06:30 pm PT
Iran guards say released seized Vietnamese tanker
Vietnamese-flagged oil tanker MV Sothys off the coast of Singapore in May 2021. Photo courtesy of Fleetmon
Iran's Revolutionary Guards said Wednesday they had released a Vietnamese-flagged oil tanker they seized last month in the Sea of Oman.

Releasing the ship ends the latest maritime confrontation in waters near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, at a time when Tehran is preparing to resume talks with major powers aimed at ending a standoff over its nuclear deal.

On Wednesday, Sepah News, the official website of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), said "the seized Sothys oil tanker was released by court order after it was emptied of oil belonging to the Islamic Republic of Iran in Bandar Abbas."

The Tanker Trackers website had said earlier that "Iran's IRGC appears to have now released the Sothys. She is currently empty and underway in a southward direction.

"Though her reported destination is Dubai, her current trajectory is the Gulf of Oman," the service said overnight, adding that Iran was holding the $50 million worth of oil which the ship had received in June.

Vietnam's Foreign Affairs Ministry deputy spokeswoman Pham Thu Hang said at a press meet on November 4 that Vietnamese authorities were working with Iran to verify the identities of 26 Vietnamese crew members of the MV Southys, and that the crew members were in good health.

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