Iran sets crew of two seized Greek tankers free

The Liberian-flagged oil tanker Ice Energy transfers crude oil from the Iranian-flagged oil tanker Lana (former Pegas), off the shore of Karystos, on the Island of Evia, Greece, May 26, 2022. REUTERS/Costas Baltas

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Iran Showed consent to set the crews of two Greek tankers free that it seized in May in the Gulf as a reaction to the confiscation of oil by the United States from an Iranian-flagged tanker in Greece, the Greek union of commercial ships’ seafarers said.

The case lead the relations between Athens and Tehran to tense as tensions grow between Iran and the United States.

The tankers’ crew will be replaced, allowing their return to their homeland, Greece, soon, the union said in a statement on its website on Sunday.

The statement did not elaborate whether the two Greek tankers, the MT Prudent Warrior and Delta Poseidon, would be released, it added.

Iran’s foreign ministry could not confirm the information.

“We have no confirmation at this moment about a release,” Iran’s foreign ministry spokesperson Nasser KanaanI said, adding that he hoped “there would be positive developments in the future”.

A Greek shipping ministry source said on Monday that “a very serious effort has been underway for the return of the Greek crews the soonest possible,” without elaborating.

The Iranian-flagged tanker Lana, formerly Pegas, was seized by Greece in April and was held for months. The United States had confiscated part of its oil cargo due to sanctions.

The seizure of the Iranian-flagged tanker by Greece has driven the Iranian authorities angry and prompted forces to seize two Greek tankers in the Middle East Gulf and sail them back to Iran after Tehran warned of “punitive action” against Athens.

Lana, which had engine problems, was officially released in July. Anchored off Piraeus since then, it has retrieved the oil cargo that the United States had confiscated and is expected to sail back to Iran, according to Reuters.

(Esta Media Network/Reuters)

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