LONDON, Sept 4 (Reuters) - The owner of the British-flagged tanker Stena Impero said on Wednesday Iran was set to free seven of the 23 crew members being held although they had yet to receive and official confirmation of the release date.
The Swedish-owned Stena Impero was detained by Iran's Revolutionary Guards on July 19 in the Strait of Hormuz waterway for alleged marine violations, two weeks after Britain detained an Iranian tanker off the territory of Gibraltar. That vessel was released in August.
"We are very pleased that for seven crew members their ordeal may soon be over, and they may return to their families, however, we cautiously await official confirmation of their release date," Erik Hanell, Stena Bulk's chief executive and president, said in a statement.
"We view this communication as a positive step on the way to the release of all the remaining crew, which has always been our primary concern and focus."
Stena Bulk said the remaining 16 crew members would remain onboard the vessel to safely operate the vessel.
Earlier on Wednesday, Iran's state television reported that Tehran would free seven of the crew on humanitarian grounds. (Reporting by Jonathan Saul, editing by Louise Heavens)