Iran took control of two Greek ships in the Persian Gulf on Friday one day after Greece aided the US in seizing a cargo of crude oil from an Iranian oil tanker in the Mediterranean.
The country’s Revolutionary Guard announced the seizure of the two oil tankers from Greece on its website on Friday.
Neither the names of the Greek ships nor their alleged violations have been publicly announced yet.
“These acts effectively amount to acts of piracy,” the Greek Foreign Ministry stated on Friday in response to the seizure of the ships. They slammed Iran’s “violent taking over of two Greek-flagged ships,” and stated that “armed men then took the crew captive.”
The Ministry then stressed that the act would add further tension between the European Union and Iran and urged the country to immediately release the ships and their crews.
Greece seized oil from Iranian tanker
The violent seizure of the Greek ships came just a day after Iran accused the country of piracy for seizing the cargo of a tanker filled with crude oil from the country in the Mediterranean Sea.
Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization is calling Greece’s actions to support the U.S. seizure of the oil “an act of piracy” while demanding that the Greek government fulfill its international obligations under maritime law.
The incident with the tanker began almost seven weeks ago.
Registered as “Pegas” and flying the Russian flag, the vessel was initially detained by Greek authorities due to EU sanctions related to Ukraine, but it was later announced that the vessel would be released.
The Hellenic Coast Guard issued the detention order for the vessel on April 18th, citing multiple deficiencies after a port state inspection.
An Iranian watchdog group, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), however, called attention to the vessel, saying it was loaded with Iranian crude.