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Maritime Transport - Iranian Revolutionary Guards seize Greek oil tankers - Economy

Maritime Transport – Iranian Revolutionary Guards seize Greek oil tankers – Economy

Tehran / Athens (dpa) – The Iranian Revolutionary Guards arrested two Greek oil tankers in the Persian Gulf. On Friday, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ online portal said the ships had ignored maritime regulations.

More details about the two tankers and crew will be announced soon. Greece protested in the strongest possible terms and spoke of an act of piracy.

Reprisal for actions off the coast of Greece?

Observers suspect that there is an act of revenge behind this action. Recently, the Russian-flagged tanker “Lana” with Iranian oil on board was arrested in Greek waters. In protest, the charge d’affaires of the Greek and Swiss embassies were summoned to the Foreign Ministry on Friday. Switzerland also represents US interests in Tehran.

The Greek Foreign Ministry summoned the Iranian ambassador on Friday. A spokesman said a protest had been organized. “These actions are practically piracy,” the foreign ministry said in a statement in Athens.

Greece demanded the immediate release of the crews. Ships must be allowed to proceed. The Foreign Ministry stressed that these measures will have “extremely negative repercussions” on Greek-Iranian relations.

Athena: a ship boarded by armed men

According to information received from Athens, the crew of an Iranian navy helicopter boarded the Greek ship “Delta Poseidon” in international waters about 22 nautical miles (about 35 kilometers) off the Iranian coast on Friday. Then Iranian gunmen arrested the crew. The Greek Foreign Ministry said that a second Greek ship was also stopped and its crew arrested.

It added that Athens had informed all relevant international organizations of the facts and called on all Greek citizens to avoid traveling to Iran. All Greek ships moving in the Persian Gulf region have also been notified.

Sanctions against Russia and Iran

Greek media such as “Kathimerini” newspaper reported the incident of the Russian tanker. Accordingly, on April 14 there was a severe storm in the Aegean Sea. Lana, from Marmaris, the Turks, took refuge in a bay on the Greek island of Euboea, in front of the small port of Karistos. There, the Greek authorities established that the tanker was owned by the Russian company Promsvyazbank. Due to the imposition of European Union sanctions on the bank, the tanker was stopped. When it became clear that the bank had already sold the tanker to a non-sanctioned Russian bank in March, it was supposed to go ahead.

Meanwhile, it was determined that the Russian tanker was carrying Iranian oil. Therefore, according to Greek media, the American authorities reported and demanded that the Greeks provide support and continue the “Lana” contract. Because of US sanctions against Iran, the oil had to be pumped into another tanker and shipped to the US at the US expense.

Apparently this is what is happening in Karistos Bay. The MarineTraffic portal shows that another tanker is lying next to the “Lana” in Karistos Bay and, by all indications, is refueling from the ship.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 220527-99-458130 / 2