Iran seizes two Greek oil tankers

The Iranian Revolutionary Guards have once again confiscated foreign ships. Observers suspect an act of retaliation.

Greece confiscated the tanker Pegas last month. This was flying the Iranian flag.

Vassilis Triandafyllou / Reuters

(ran./bso.) / (dpa/Reuters) The crew of two Greek tankers detained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) on Friday were not arrested. She is in good health and is being cared for on board her ships, the Iranian shipping authority said on Saturday.

Iranian forces seized two Greek tankers in the Persian Gulf on Friday, shortly after Tehran warned it would take “punitive action” against Athens. The ships disregarded maritime regulations, the IRGC web portal said on Friday.

Observers suspect an act of retaliation behind the action. A tanker carrying Iranian oil was recently detained in Greek waters by the United States and its cargo confiscated. The Greek authorities had detained the Iranian-flagged ship “Pegas” due to EU sanctions off the coast of the southern island of Evia.

In protest against this, chargé d’affaires from the Greek and Swiss embassies were summoned to the Foreign Ministry on Friday. Switzerland also represents US interests in Tehran.

Greece protested on Friday at the Iranian ambassador in Athens against the “forced confiscation” of the tankers, according to the country’s foreign ministry. It called for the immediate release of the ships and their crews and described Iran’s actions as “piracy”.

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