Questions over handling of oil tanker

Questions over handling of oil tanker

In the wake of last week’s seizure of two Greek tankers by Iranian forces, officials directly involved in the case questioned a decision by the Halkida Court of First Instance to proceed with the seizure of 107,000 tons of Iranian oil from a Russian-flagged tanker that has been immobilized for one and a half months at Karystos in southern Evia.

The transfer of Iranian oil from the Lana (formerly Pegas) to two tankers, Ice Energy and Alkinoos, began last week and is ongoing. The Lana had been on the US radar since August 2021.

In comments to Kathimerini, the officials said that the US embargo on Iranian oil is valid in the US but not in the European Union, and questioned the validity of the court’s decision.

The same sources also told Kathimerini that the risk of Iran retaliating in the event that Greece proceeded to satisfy the US request, despite the relevant legal restrictions, had been duly pointed out. However, the warnings, they said, were not taken into account.

What’s more, Tehran warned it would take “punitive action” against Athens over the confiscation of Iranian oil by the US from the tanker held at Karystos.

The Lana had loaded 700,000 barrels of crude oil from the Syrian island of Siri on August 19 to transport to a Russian-controlled Black Sea port under a bilateral agreement between Iran and Russia.

By the end of April, the United Against Nuclear Iran nonprofit organization, a staunch opponent of Iran, had issued a statement on the matter, with its head Mark Wallace calling on Greece and the Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to proceed immediately to impound the Pegas. He said Greece is a member of the EU and NATO and that both the ship and the cargo are subject to sanctions.

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