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South Korea says its ship, captain detained in Iran have been released

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Iran has released a South Korean-flagged tanker it seized amid a dispute over billions in frozen oil funds, and the vessel’s captain, the foreign ministry in Seoul said Friday.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps seized the Hankuk Chemi in January, but the South’s foreign ministry said in a statement that its detention had been lifted and “the ship departed safely today.”

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At the time, the IRGC said the vessel’s crew members had been detained and included nationals of South Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam and Myanmar, but did not say how many there were. It said the tanker was being held at Iran’s Bandar Abbas port city.

The South Korean-flagged tanker had been bound for the United Arab Emirates but instead had gone into Iranian territorial waters. It had been traveling from Saudi Arabia to Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates.