Iran on Monday (July 22) released for the first time footage showing the crew members of a seized British-flagged tanker aboard their ship in Bandar Abbas. Iran has repeatedly said the crew of the Stena Impero are safe and still on the vessel, since its seizure on Friday (July 19) in the Strait of Hormuz. The video showed the tanker's crew sitting around a table in the discussion, monitoring equipment on the vessel and chefs preparing food in the kitchen.
The seizure of the Stena Impero on the world's most important waterway for oil trade has deepened a crisis between Tehran and the West that was triggered in May when Washington tightened sanctions, effectively barring all countries from buying Iranian oil. Britain called on Iran on Monday to release the tanker and its crew immediately, describing the seizure as illegal. Britain on July 4 seized an Iranian tanker, the Grace 1, off the coast of Gibraltar. Britain accused it of violating sanctions against Syria, prompting repeated Iranian threats of retaliation.