TEHRAN, April 9 (Xinhua) -- Iran's judiciary has issued an order for the release of a South Korean vessel seized in the Persian Gulf in January, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said here on Friday.
"Following the completion of the investigation concerning the violation of the Korean ship and at the request of the owner (of the ship) and the Korean government for the release of the vessel, the release order was issued by the (Iranian) prosecutor," Saeed Khatibzadeh, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was quoted as saying by the Iranian Students News Agency.
Khatibzadeh urged the captain and the vessel to avoid a "bad record of violations in the region."
The Islamic Republic emphasizes full observance of maritime and environmental regulations, he said, adding that Iran monitors and follows up on any violations in this regard.
The spokesman did not elaborate on the release of the captain of the ship, who is a South Korean national.
South Korea's Foreign Ministry said on Friday that Iran has released the oil tanker and its captain.
On Jan. 4, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps seized the South Korean vessel carrying 7,200 tons of petrochemicals for what it called "violating environmental protocols" in the Gulf.