An Iranian-flagged tanker named Lana that anchored off the Piraeus port is going to retrieve a part of its cargo this week. The cargo was confiscated by the US and sailed back to Iran, after a Greek top court ruling, government sources mentioned on Wednesday.
The case strained relations between Tehran and Athens amid increasing tensions between Iran and the US.
The removal of oil from the Lana, formerly Pegas, prompted Iran’s forces to seize two Greece-based tankers in the Middle East Gulf. The seized tankers have not been released yet.
The Supreme Court’s ruling (Greece) is in favor of Iran, an anonymous Greek government official mentioned. The official said that the ruling, which has not yet been made public, had come to the knowledge of the government on Tuesday.
Another government official also confirmed the same ruling. A government spokesperson added that the government would not be commenting on the court’s decisions.
For more than two months, Lana was under arrest off the island of Evia in Greece.
The Greek authorities gave approval for its release earlier in July 2022, after a judicial panel ruled in favor of an Iranian firm, overturning an earlier court order, and the vessel that had engine problems had been tugged to Piraeus.
Greek media reports reflected that the US challenged that decision bringing the case before the Supreme Court of Greece.
The US government officials had no immediate comments to make.
Part of the Iranian oil cargo of the ship was transferred to another one named the Ice Energy that was reportedly hired by the US and is moored off the Piraeus port.
Lana was expected to get fuel on 27 July and test the engine so that it can start the oil transfer toward the week’s end and then, sail off, the first official informed Reuters.
References: US News, SWI, IRNA, Reuters