Greece Urges International Action to Free Tankers Seized By Iran
Maritime authorities based in Greece have requested global support in releasing the crew members of two oil tankers seized last week by Iran-based forces.
The Prudent Warrior and Delta Poseidon were reportedly seized by the country’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, better known as the IRGC, in the Persian Gulf in a tit-for-tat move last week.
Dramatic footage showed armed IRGC an officer getting on the deck of one of the tankers from a helicopter was shown on Monday on the Iranian state TV.
Ioannis Plakiotakis, the Greek Merchant Marine Minister, described the incident as a threat to the security of shipping and commerce. He said that are urging all nations to put an end to such an unacceptable incident and make sure that this does not repeat, by acting on things.
On Thursday, the Greek Coast Guard, better known as the GCG, and independent monitoring services reported that the two tankers had been moored at the port of Bandar in Iran. At least one Cypriot and nine from Greece were on board.
Tehran has mentioned that the crew members were in “good health” and were not detained.
The move came a few days after Athens declared that it would hand over about 700,000 barrels of Iranian crude from a Russian-flagged tanker it had impounded on over to the US in April. The Russian vessel that tried to change the flag to Iran’s at the last minute, was seized as there were global sanctions linked to the war in Ukraine. The EU and the US sanction bar countries from purchasing petrochemical products that are Iran based.
Both France and Germany’s foreign ministries condemned the seizure of the tankers and called on Tehran to release the crew members with the ships. The government of Iran referred to the statements as “inappropriate interference” and “biased”.