British-flagged tanker docks in Dubai after Iran release AFP

British-flagged tanker docks in Dubai after Iran release AFP

Mohammad Javad Zarif is in New York for the annual United Nations gathering of world leaders, but the Trump administration has strictly sanctioned where within New York City Zarif may travel.

"Iran has wrongfully detained several U.S. citizens for years, to the pain of their families and friends they can not freely visit", the State Department spokesperson said.

Late on Saturday, Zarif tweeted that he had communicated with Ravanchi by video call.

The CEO of Stena Bulk, the Swedish company that owns the vessel, said it had reached global waters at around 0945 GMT as it headed for Dubai, where its crew will be repatriated.

"Thanks to technology, I was able to see and talk to my friend of 40 years and our United Nations ambassador Ravanchi, who is in hospital here in NY only a few blocks away", he said.

The British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero docked in Dubai on Saturday after sailing from the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas where it was held for more than two months, according to pool footage and a tracking website.

Tensions have risen in the Gulf since May a year ago when President Donald Trump unilaterally abandoned a 2015 nuclear deal between major powers and Iran and began reimposing crippling sanctions in a campaign of "maximum pressure".

The ship, the Stena Impero, set sail from Iran Friday morning, arriving at an anchorage outside Dubai's Port Rashid in the United Arab Emirates just before midnight.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said it is America's turn to release an Iranian citizen.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards seized the vessel in the Strait of Hormuz on July 19 after surrounding it with attack boats and rappelling onto its deck.

Renamed the Adrian Darya 1, the ship later sat off the Syrian coast, angering Britain.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said however that the tanker was "unlawfully seized by Iran" as part of attempts to "disrupt freedom of navigation". The Iranian ship was released in August.

The Persian Gulf tensions have also seen a series of attacks across the Middle East that the US blames on Iran. The United States blamed those attacks on Iran, which Tehran denied.

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