IRGC Navy Seizes 2 Greek Oil Tankers in Persian Gulf
Story Code : 996436
The reason for seizing the oil takers on Friday was their violation of naval regulations, the IRGC Public Relations said.
In a relevant development earlier this week, Greece had seized an Iranian oil tanker near the coastal waters of Greece.
Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) issued a statement on Wednesday, describing the move as an "act of piracy" that was "in violation of international standards".
According to reports, the vessel was seized nearly seven weeks ago in Greece on the orders of the US Department of Justice after it thought the vessel was covered by sanctions on Russian assets.
The PMO said the vessel operating under the Iranian flag had been held by the Greek government on the coasts of that country, and the cargo on board the vessel was seized upon court order and in coordination with the US government.
The vessel had faced bad weather conditions and experienced some technical problems, which led it to call for assistance, the statement added.
Under international and technical regulations and standards, the state with the nearest coastline to the vessel calling for assistance due to safety threats should cooperate by guiding the vessel to a place of safety, it said.
In a relevant development on Wednesday, Greek chargé d'affaires to Tehran was summoned to the Iranian foreign ministry over seizure of a crude cargo of Iran in Greece's waters.
The Greek envoy was summoned by the head of the Mediterranean and East European affairs at the ministry on Wednesday where he was notified of his country's international obligations regarding the vessel's emergency stop due to a technical glitch.
The ministry official condemned Greece’s "unacceptable" surrender to "illegal" US pressures, and said the "seizure of the cargo of the ship" with the flag of the Islamic Republic of Iran was "an instance of international piracy".
The official held the Greek government and those who confiscated the ship responsible for the illegal act.
The official also emphasized that Iran “will not give up its legal rights and expects the Greek government to live up to its international commitments in maritime and shipping sectors”.
The Greek diplomat promised to immediately convey the Iranian government’s protest to the concerned officials in his country.
In a relevant development on Wednesday, the Iranian foreign ministry summoned Swiss chargé d'affaires whose country represents the US interests in Iran to convey strong protest of Iran to the US government over the seizure of an Iranian vessel in Greece.
The chargé d'affaires of Swiss Embassy in Tehran was summoned by the Director-General of Iranian Foreign Ministry for American Affairs the in absence of that country's ambassador.
The diplomatic efforts of the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to lift seizure of the ship and its cargo in the coastal waters of Greece carried out under the pressure and intervention of the US government still is underway.
The Iranian diplomat expressed strong concern and protest of the Islamic Republic of Iran towards the continued violation of international maritime laws and conventions by the US government, specially principle of freedom of shipping and international free trade.
During the meeting, strong protest of Iranian government was announced to the charge d’affaires of Swiss Embassy to Iran, calling for the immediate lifting of seizure of the ship and its cargo in Greece.
In this regard, Swiss charge d’affaires announced that he would convey the message of Iran over ship seizure as soon as possible.