Nov 10, 2021 / 22:34

Iran releases Vietnam-flagged oil tanker after stalled negotiations

Maritime satellite tracking data showed that the oil tanker is now at anchor in international waters.

Iran has released Vietnamese-flagged tanker SOTHYS seized in the Gulf of Oman last month after negotiations made by related parties.

 Vietnam-flagged crude oil tanker SOTHYS off Singapore's waters in May, 2021. Photo: Fleetmon

Top commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Hossein Salami announced on Wednesday [November 10] that they made the release following a judicial order, adding that they emptied out the oil that belongs to Iran, according to IRGC-linked Sepah News, giving no time of the release.

SOTHYS, which has 26 Vietnamese sailors on board, was seized in the Gulf of Oman on October 24 and under control by Iran’s powerful paramilitary Revolutionary Guard troops since it was suspected of trying to transfer sanctioned Iranian crude oil to Asia.

Maritime satellite tracking data showed that the oil tanker now appears to be in international waters. However, no information about its crew was reported, according to AP.

Spokesperson for Iran’s UN mission Shahrokh Nazemi told AP that “SOTHYS left Iranian waters last night after transferring the oil.”

MarineTraffic Terrestrial Automatic Identification System on November 10, 2021 showed that Crude Oil Tanker SOTHYS, which is currently located in Oman Gulf, is sailing in the Southeast direction.

Built in 2003, SOTHYS (IMO: 9253064) is sailing under the flag of Vietnam. Her length overall (LOA) is 246.8 meters and her width is 42 meters. Its carrying capacity is 107123 t DWT and her current draught is reported to be 8 meters.