The Latest: Owner of tanker held by Iran confirms release

FILE - In this July 20, 2019, file photo, a British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero which was seized by the Iran's Revolutionary Guard is photographed in the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas. The British-flagged oil tanker held by Iran since July began transmitted its location for the first time in weeks Friday, Sept. 27, 2019, ship-tracking website showed. (Tasnim News Agency via AP, File)

TEHRAN, Iran — The Latest on tensions in the Persian Gulf (all times local):

Noon

The head of the Swedish shipping firm that owns a British-flagged oil tanker held by Iran since July says the vessel and its crew have been released.

Erik Hanell, CEO of Stena Bulk said Tuesday the Stena Impero "has left the port of Bandar Abbas and is transiting to Dubai for the crew to disembark and receive medical checks and de-briefing."

Hanell says that the families of crew members have been informed, and Stena Bulk was "currently making arrangements for the repatriation of its valued seafarers at the earliest possible opportunity."

Friday's statement came hours after Iran's marine and port authority said the oil tanker has left Iranian territorial waters and was heading to international waters.

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10:40 a.m.

Iran's marine and port authority is saying a British-flagged oil tanker held by Iran since July has left Iran.

The statement came Friday morning, around two hours after a ship-tracking website showed the Stena Impero began transmitting its location for the first time in weeks. The company that owns the ship said it was preparing to leave Iran.

The marine and port authority said on its website the vessel left Iranian waters at 8:30 a.m. (5 a.m. GMT) heading to international waters.

Iran seized the tanker in July in the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf through which 20% of all oil passes. That came just weeks after authorities in Gibraltar, a British overseas territory, seized an Iranian oil tanker carrying some $130 million in crude oil. It was seized on suspicion of breaking European Union sanctions on Syria.

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8:30 a.m.

A ship-tracking website shows a British-flagged oil tanker held by Iran since July has transmitted its location for the first time in weeks.

MarineTraffic.com, citing satellite data, showed the Stena Impero just outside the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas Friday morning, where it had been held since being seized by Iran on July 19. There was no immediate comment from the ship's owners or Iranian authorities.

The data showed the ship was stationary at 8:18 a.m. local time (4:48 a.m. GMT).

On Monday, a government spokesman in Iran said legal proceedings against the vessel had concluded.

Iran seized the tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf through which 20% of all oil passes.

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