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Russian Embassy Visits Russian Crew Members Of British Vessel Seized By Iran

Representatives of the Russian Embassy in Tehran have visited three Russian crew members from the British vessel Stena Impero who were detained by Iran.

The three crew members are in good health and have no complaints about their conditions, but are still being held on the vessel, Andrei Ganenko was quoted as saying by Interfax on July 27.

The Russian citizens can contact their families, Ganenko said, adding that the embassy was in talks with Iranian officials to release the men.

Iranian commandos seized the British-flagged tanker in the Strait of Hormuz on July 19, two weeks after British forces captured an Iranian oil tanker near Gibraltar, accusing it of violating sanctions on Syria.

Britain said it acted near Gibraltar because the Iranian tanker, Grace 1, was busting sanctions by delivering oil to Syria, but Iran claimed it intervened because the British-flagged tanker hit an Iranian fishing boat.

The current tensions between Iran and the West have been escalating since President Donald Trump withdrew the United States last year from a 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran with world powers, and imposed sweeping economic sanctions on Tehran, including its oil exports.

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