The British-flagged tanker which was seized by Iran in July has started moving again.
Stena Bulk, the shipping company that operates the Stena Impero vessel, confirmed that the tanker was on the move and the company would comment further when it reaches international waters.
Iranian maritime officials said earlier that the tanker had been released from the port city of Bandar Abbas.
Stena Bulk’s chief executive Erik Hanell said in a statement: “Families of crew members have been informed and the company is making arrangements for the repatriation of its valued seafarers.”
The ship’s seizure in the Strait of Hormuz on 19 July came two weeks after an Iranian tanker was detained off the coast of Gibraltar.
The Stena Impero is now heading to Port Rashid in Dubai, according to ship-tracking data.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards seized the vessel in the Strait of Hormuz waterway for alleged marine violations.
The country’s state-run IRNA news agency reported that the oil tanker had collided with an Iranian fishing boat.
Ahead of its release, Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei told journalists on Monday that legal proceedings against the Stena Impero had ended.
Mr Rabiei said: “Based on a friendly approach that allows forgiving mistakes, ground for freedom of the tanker has been paved and it can move.”
Tehran’s semi-official Fars news agency quoted Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi as saying on Wednesday that the vessel was close to being released.
Mr Mousavi tweeted: “Today, the procedures for discharging Stena Impero ship has been finalised with the foreign ministry’s follow-ups and valuable co-operation between the judiciary and the ports and maritime organisation of Iran, but the case stays open to study some of its violations and damages to the environment.”
Stena Bulk said it was not in negotiations with Iran and was not aware of any formal charges against the crew or the company.
Iran had earlier released seven of the ship’s 23 crew members.
The seizure in July came two weeks after authorities in Gibraltar impounded an Iranian tanker on suspicion of it breaking European Union sanctions on Syria.
British Royal Marines abseiled onto the vessel which was carrying £140m in crude oil.
Gibraltar later released the tanker, then called the Grace 1, after it said Iran had promised the ship would not go to Syria.
The ship seizures came after months of heightened tensions in the Persian Gulf, sparked by US President Donald Trump’s decision over a year ago to withdraw from Iran’s nuclear deal.
World powers imposed crippling sanctions on Iran’s vital oil trade.
Tehran has since begun breaking terms of the deal.
Iran’s seizure of the Stena Impero ratcheted up tensions in the region following attacks in May and June on other merchant vessels in Gulf waters, which Washington blamed on Tehran.
Iran has denied responsibility.