The British oil tanker Stena Impero has left the port city of Bandar Abbas. This is part of Marine Traffic, which tracks the course of ships using satellite data. Accordingly, one has received for the first time in weeks again position signals of Stena Impero . According to, the tanker is now out of port.

In mid-July, Iran's Revolutionary Guards had arrested Stena Impero on charges that the crew had disregarded naval laws in the Persian Gulf. Observers believe that this is a retaliatory act after Britain, at the behest of the United States, set a tanker of Iranian oil off Gibraltar two weeks earlier. The government in Washington, for example, assumed that the ship named Grace 1 was on its way to Syria to provide the regime with new oil imports there.

Such a delivery would have violated international sanctions. Only after Iran had agreed not to let the ship go to Syria, the authorities released it. The ship was then renamed Adrian Darya 1 and was not locatable a little later. Most recently, it had been spotted off the Syrian coast.

The seizure of the Stena Impero was seen as another step on the way to an escalation between Iran and the United States. Since US President Donald Trump ended his unilateral withdrawal from the nuclear deal last year, Iran has begun to restore uranium beyond the limit allowed by the agreement. That the seizure of the Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz was carried out alarmed above all the USA. The strait is one of the world's most important trading links; one-fifth of the world's oil transportation goes through the strait.

Now the leadership in Tehran is trying to de-escalate, at least in this regard. Already on Monday, an Iranian government spokesman had said that the trial against the Stena Impero was completed and "the ship's violations are forgiven." The oil tanker is now heading for a port in the United Arab Emirates.

"Stena Impero" leaves Iranian port Four days after its release, the British tanker leaves Iranian waters. Two months earlier, he was seized by Iran's Revolutionary Guards. © Photo: Hasan Shirvani / AFP / Getty Images