UK tanker held in Iran heads for international waters

The British oil tanker seized by Iran is moving out of Bandar Abbas port and headed for international waters.

Iran detained Stena Impero in July near the Strait of Hormuz for alleged marine violations.

It was just two weeks after Britain detained an Iranian tanker off Gibraltar, which was released in August.

Earlier this week, Iran said all legal hurdles for the ship to be released had been cleared.

The judicial file on the vessel is still open though, and the process of looking into "violations" committed by the ship is ongoing, according to Iranian authorities.

Refinitiv tracking data suggests the vessel is headed for Dubai's Port Rashid in the UAE.

That's about 155 miles away.

At normal tanker speed, it would get there within half a day.

The seizure of Stena Impero ratcheted up tensions in the region.

It came after attacks in May and June on other merchant vessels in Gulf waters - incidents Washington blamed on Tehran - who denied any involvement.

The British ship's owner, Swedish company Stena Bulk, said on Wednesday (September 25) it was not in negotiations with Iran, and was unaware of any formal charges against the crew or the company.

Iran had earlier released seven of the ship's 23-strong crew.