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Greece Releases Iran’s Oil Tanker Seized in April

Iran Greece ship
The Iranian-flagged oil tanker Lana (former Pegas). Credit: AMNA

On Tuesday, Greece released Iran’s Lana tanker that was seized in April, Ιran’s Ports and Maritime Organisation (PMO) announced.

The semi-official Mehr News Agency, quoting Iranian officials, said that the oil cargo will be returned to its owner.

“With the swift and authoritative action of Iran, the Greek government finally issued an order and we are now witnessing the lifting of the ship’s seizure and the return of its cargo to its owner,” the PMO told Mehr.

The ship, previously called Pegas and renamed Lana in March, had reported an engine problem in April. It was headed to the southern Peloponnese peninsula to offload its cargo onto another tanker, but rough seas forced it to moor just off Karystos where it was seized.

The seizure of Iran’s tanker led to punitive action against Greece

A Greek court overturned an earlier ruling last week that allowed the confiscation by the United States of part of the Iranian-flagged tanker’s Iranian oil cargo off the Greek coast.

The US has sanctioned Iranian oil exports since 2018.

The incident led to an angry response from Iran with Iranian forces last month seizing two Greek tankers in the Gulf after Tehran warned it would take “punitive action” against Athens.

Greece’s Foreign Affairs Ministry submitted a strong demarche to Iran’s ambassador in Athens concerning the “violent seizure” of two Greek-flagged ships in late May.

“These acts are equal to piracy,” noted the Greek ministry in its announcement.

There is still no word about the fate of the Greek tankers, but in similar cases in the past, Iran has released seized vessels when there was a reciprocal agreement.

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