LONDON, July 21 (Reuters) – The seizure of a British flagged tanker by Iran is in “clear violation of international law” because it was in Omani waters, the head of the UK Chamber of Shipping said on Sunday.
On Saturday British foreign minister Jeremy Hunt said the Stena Impero was seized in Omani waters in clear contravention of international law and then forced to sail into Iran. Iran says the tanker was captured after it collided with a fishing boat.
“The chart released by Her Majesty’s government today clearly demonstrates that the Swedish-owned and British-flagged tanker, Stena Impero, was in Oman territorial waters when she was boarded by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard on Friday 19th July,” said Bob Sanguinetti, CEO of the UK Chamber of Shipping.
“The evidence provided is proof that the seizing of the Stena Impero was in clear violation of international law.”
Sanguinetti added that there is no comparison to be made with the seizure of Grace I, which was done under international law for the breach of EU sanctions.
“The Stena Impero was outside Iranian waters and legitimately carrying out its business at the time of its seizure,” he said.
(Reporting by Jonathan Saul Writing by Elizabeth Piper Editing by David Goodman)