Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Greece releases seized Iranian oil tanker despite US pressure

Iran says Greece decided to end the seizure of an Iranian oil tanker it had confiscated in its territorial waters in mid-April under pressure from the United States.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) said a Greek court ruled that the tanker and its crude cargo must be returned to the owner, and that the Athens government acted on the verdict.

The tanker was released in defiance of Washington’s order for Greece to confiscate the tanker and a treaty between Greece and the US on mutual legal assistance, the statement added.

A diplomatic row erupted between Athens and Tehran after the latter seized the Iranian tanker in the waters nears its coast citing “sanctions.”

It was reported later that the oil cargo of the vessel, estimated to be 700,000 barrels, had been transferred to the US.

Iran slammed the US seizure of the Iranian oil cargo from a Russian-operated ship in Greece as an “act of piracy” that was “in violation of international standards.” It also pledged punitive measures against Athens.

In a tit-for-tat move in May, Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) seized two Greek oil tankers in the Persian Gulf over violations of maritime regulations in the Persian Gulf.

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