Seven sailors from the tanker Stena Impero, detained in July, left Iran, among them one Russian, said Andrei Ganenko, press officer of the Russian Embassy in Tehran.

“Seven sailors actually left Iran, today they flew to Dubai. As for the other two of our citizens, they will remain on board until the ship is standing”, – said Ganenko.

According to him, the shipowner insists that 16 people remain on board the vessel, so that in case of the release they could put the tanker into the sea.

The 30,000-ton UK-flagged Stena Impero tanker was seized by Iranian naval forces on July 19, when it ignored distress call as it collided with a fishing boat on its route.

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said at that time that the ship had also used a wrong path to enter the Strait of Hormuz.

The Stena Impero was brought to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas, where it remains at anchor.

Its Swedish operator, Stena Bulk, said last month it had been able to maintain limited communication with the crew and that they remained in good health “considering the circumstances”.

The seizure of the British tanker came amid a diplomatic row between Tehran and London, which had erupted earlier in July after British Royal Marines in Gibraltar illegally seized an Iranian oil tanker. That ship was later released.