07/06/2022


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The oil tanker Pegas is moored off the coast of Karistos on the island of Euboea, Greece on April 19, 2022. Photo: Vassilis Triandaphilo/Reuters

DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran’s Maritime Authority said on Saturday that the crew of two Greek tankers seized by the Revolutionary Guards on Friday had not been arrested and that they were in good health and were being looked after on board their ship.

Iranian forces seized two Greek tankers in the Gulf on Friday, shortly after Tehran warned it would take “punitive measures” against Athens over the United States’ confiscation of Iranian oil from an oil tanker seized off the Greek coast.

“The crew of the two Greek tankers and all crew members … were not arrested, are in good health and are protected on board and are provided with necessary services in accordance with international law,” the Iranian Ports and Maritime Organization said in a statement. Statement issued by the state media.

The commission said the ships had been stopped due to “unspecified violations of the law of the sea”.

Greece said on Friday that an Iranian navy helicopter had landed on the Greek-flagged ship Delta Poseidon in international waters and had taken its crew hostage. She added that a similar incident occurred on board another Greek-flagged ship near Iran, without mentioning the name of the ship. Athens said both measures violate international law.

Greek authorities seized an Iranian-flagged Pegass plane off Greece last month due to European Union sanctions. Reuters reported on Thursday that the United States later seized a shipment of Iranian oil on board.

The Bejas and its Russian crew were later released, but the confiscation raised tensions as Iran and world powers seek to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.

In a separate context, Noor News of Iran’s state security apparatus said: “Iran will not remain idly by in the face of the threat to its interests, and examining Iran’s will is a strategic mistake that has great costs for the United States and its countries. It becomes a footnote.”

“Our relations should not be disrupted by short-sighted miscalculations, including looting on the orders of a third party,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh tweeted.

In 2019, Iran seized a British oil tanker near the Strait of Hormuz for alleged violations, two weeks after British forces seized an Iranian oil tanker near Gibraltar and accused it of exporting oil to Syria in violation of European Union sanctions for its extradition. The two ships were later released.