The Iranian Revolutionary Guard detaining the Stena Impero in July. Photo: Hasan Shirvani/Mizan News Agency/AFP/Getty Images
Why it matters: The decision ends a 2-month standoff between Tehran and London over detained vessels and maritime law, but Iran still faces increased tensions with its Persian Gulf neighbors and the U.S. and its allies — including the U.K.
Context: The U.K. seized an Iranian oil tanker off the coast on Gibraltar early in July, and Iran reacted by confiscating the Stena Impero and accusing it of violating maritime regulations in the Strait of Hormuz.
- Britain released the Iranian tanker last month
- Iran also detained the Stena Impero's 23 member crew but released 7 of them earlier this month. The rest of the crew remained with the vessel and will sail it out of the Bandar Abbas, a port in southern Iran.
The big picture: Tensions still remain between the U.K. and Iran. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson blamed Iran Monday for this month's attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities and did not rule out military intervention against Iran.
- Johnson also said he would meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at this week's United Nations General Assembly in New York.