The head of the UK Chamber of Shipping, Bob Sanguinetti, said on Sunday that Iran had 'clearly violated international laws' when the country's Revolutionary Guard detained the UK-flagged tanker on 19 July citing a breach of international maritime rules.
Sanguinetti stressed that the vessel was in Omani territorial waters when it was seized by the IRGC, citing a UK government chart.
Sanguineti added that it was incorrect to compare the capture of the Stena Impero with the seizure of Iran-flagged Grace 1 that took place earlier this month off the coast of Gibraltar as the Iranian tanker had breached international law by defying EU sanctions.
The British-registered vessel Stena Impero was captured by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps as it was passing through the Strait of Hormuz on 19 July.
This development comes against the backdrop of an Iranian supertanker that was seized off Gibraltar on 4 July. Gibraltar authorities claimed there were reasons to believe that the vessel was transporting oil to Syria in breach of EU sanctions, which Iran denied. Tehran is currently urging the release of its vessel.