Foreign Minister Haavisto calls Iran ship seizure “unacceptable”

Haavisto made a call to British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt on Monday to discuss the fate of captured oil tanker.

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File picture of Swedish-owned, British-flagged Stena Impero tanker / Credit: Stena Bulk

Finland’s Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (Green) says Iran’s seizure of a British-flagged vessel in the Gulf is “unacceptable”.

In a call to his British counterpart Jeremy Hunt on Monday afternoon, Haavisto “expressed Finland’s support to the UK in the matter”, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“Events like this undermine the efforts to resolve tensions in the Gulf” says Haavisto.

The Stena Impero tanker was boarded by Iranian forces last Friday and in the Strait of Hormuz shipping lane – the narrowest point in the Gulf between Iran on one shore, and Oman on the other.

Iran says the ship was violating international maritime rules, and claims it collided with a another smaller vessel and refused to stop.

The ship’s owners say there’s been no known injuries to the crew members.

“The crew members of our vessel Stena Impero are in ‘good health’ and the tanker is at the nearby Bandar Bahonar anchorage” close to Bandar Abbas port, says owners Stena Bulk in a statement.

The Stena Impero is owned by a Swedish company but sails under a British flag, while the 23 crew members on board are from India, Russia, Latvia and the Philippines.

The Latvian government has already made a formal request to Finland to help with the situation of its national who is being held. Finland has an embassy in Iran, while Latvia does not.