Iran Releases British Oil Tanker Seized Back in July

Amid months of mounting tension, a British oil tanker held by Iran for months was finally leaving Iranian waters Friday, and in route to the UAE.

A British oil tanker held by the Islamic Republic for months was finally leaving Iranian waters, and heading to the United Arab Emirates following its seizure.

The tanker’s owner said the vessel left Iran Friday and started transmitting a location signal for the first time in weeks, after its seizure which took place back in July.

The vessel was reportedly, according to the Associated Press, heading south at 14 mph from Bandar Abbas, an Iranian port.

The ship and its crew are currently in route to Dubai, where they will undergo medical evaluations.

This move comes as tension between Iran, and most notably the United States, has continued to mount over growing concern surrounding their nuclear program.

President Trump took action earlier this week to restrict senior Iranian government officials and their immediate family members from entering the United States as bilateral tension continues to mount. 

The president issued that proclamation Wednesday, barring those individuals from coming to the United States for travel, work, or study purposes. 

According to the proclamation, “Iran arbitrarily detains United States citizens.  The Iranian regime contributes to humanitarian crises, threatens its neighbors, threatens international shipping, and conducts destructive cyberattacks.”

The president continued by saying, “Given that this behavior threatens peace and stability in the Middle East and beyond, I have determined that it is in the interest of the United States to take action to restrict and suspend the entry into the United States.”

This decision comes shortly after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has continued to emphasize the Islamic Republic will only be open to talks with the U.S. if sanctions are dropped. 

The United States has made it clear it is not willing to drop sanctions targeting Tehran.

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