The Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced Friday that following an investigation the Islamic Republic had decided to release a South Korean oil tanker after determining the ship and its captain had no criminal records.
In his remarks, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh told reporters that an Iranian prosecutor concluded that the ship can be released at the request of its owner and the Seoul government after finalizing an inquiry into the breach of regulations by the tanker.
The spokesman also said that the Islamic Republic, as a country with long coastlines along the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman, emphasizes the importance of adhering to maritime legislation, such as environmental laws.
Earlier on Friday the South Korean Yonhap news agency quoted a foreign ministry statement as saying that Iran had released a seized oil tanker and its captain.
According to the South Korean ministry, the ship left the port near Bandar Abbas on Iran’s southern coast at about 6 a.m. (Iran time) with its captain and 12 other crew members onboard. The crew members were released earlier, but they stayed on the ship for maintenance purposes.
In January, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Navy said it seized a South Korean-flagged ship in the Persian Gulf due to environmental and chemical pollution concerns.