Iran says tanker seized by Greece has been released | Shipping News

The reported transfer comes after the ship was impounded in April, with Athens linking the seizure to EU sanctions on Russia.

Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organisation (PMO) says an Iranian-flagged tanker seized in April has been freed by Greece, in line with the nation’s semi-official Mehr information company.

“The Greek authorities lastly issued an order and we at the moment are witnessing the lifting of the ship’s seizure and the return of its cargo to its proprietor,” the PMO instructed Mehr on Tuesday. The Greek authorities has but to verify the transfer.

The ship, beforehand known as Pegas and renamed Lana in March, had reported an engine drawback in April.

It was reportedly headed to the southern Peloponnese Peninsula to dump its cargo onto one other tanker however tough seas pressured it to moor simply off Karystos, on the island of Evia, the place it was seized.

Its alleged launch comes after a Greek court docket overturned an earlier ruling final week that allowed the confiscation by america of a part of the tanker’s Iranian oil cargo.

Tehran seizes tankers within the Gulf

Athens had linked the tanker seizure in Greece to European Union sanctions imposed on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine in February.

The tanker was initially Russian-flagged and had 19 Russian crew members on board on the time it was seized.

It was amongst 5 vessels designated by the US on February 22 – two days earlier than Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – for sanctions in opposition to Promsvyazbank, a financial institution considered as vital to Russia’s defence sector. The vessel’s Russian proprietor Transmorflot was subsequently designated on Could 8.

The tanker, which was reportedly carrying 115,000 tonnes of Iranian oil when it was seized, has been flying the Iranian flag since Could 1. Iran and Russia face separate US and EU sanctions.

Its impounding led to an indignant response from Iran, which denounced the confiscation as “piracy” and warned it could take “punitive motion” in opposition to Athens. Iranian forces seized two Greek tankers within the Gulf final month.

The unfolding dispute has taken place in opposition to the backdrop of tense efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran, the US and a number of other different world powers. The 2015 deal noticed sanctions lifted on Iran in return for curbs on the nation’s nuclear programme. Former US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the accord in 2018.

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