Iran agrees to release crew of two seized Greek tankers – The Greek Union of Merchant Marine Sailors said

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Iran has agreed to release the crews of the two Greek tankers that has been seized by the Iranian armed forces in the Persian Gulf in May, in response to the confiscation of oil from an Iranian-flagged tanker in Greece. The Iranian oil had been seized in Greece, at the request of the US authorities, and the Iranian armed forces responded by seizing two Greek-flagged tankers, the Delta Poseidon and the Prudent Warrior.

The Greek Union of Merchant Marine Sailors in an official statement confirmed that Iran is releasing now the crews of the two Greek tankers it seized in May.

As it is mentioned, it has already been more than three months since the hostage situation of the 49 Greek and foreign sailors on the tankers that were seized by the Iranian armed forces on May 27, 2022.

The Greek Union of Merchant Marine Sailors said on its website that the Iranian authorities have reduced the armed guard located in the two Greek-owned vessels, they are allowed to communicate with their families, and they provide the necessary medicines to those who are facing health problems.

“In the recent visit of a Greek delegation to Iran, the Iranian side took a significant step back, accepted and agreed to the replacement of the two crews. This means that stranded Marines will immediately return to their countries of origin”, the union states.

According to the union “the beginning of the release will probably start on Monday 11th, with the return of the Greek Vice-Captain of the “Prudent Warrior” ship. He is expected to be granted the relevant visa. On the second ship “Delta Poseidon”, in which the number of Greeks is 9 people, their replacement will take place in the next few days and on the way back it will be the entire Greek crew. Similar actions are being launched in parallel for the foreign seafarers of the two vessels. All Greek sailors will be replaced with foreigners, except for one Greek who wishes to stay on board”.

As far as the release of the ships is concerned the situation remains unclear, as it is highlighted in the statement, and the landscape is not going to clear up, at least in the month of September, since the Iranians are asking for a series of guarantees from the Greek side for which no solution is visible on the horizon.

In the meantime the tanker “Lana” carrying the Iranian oil is anchored in Piraeus, fully manned and has all the seaworthiness documents, the union said.

It is worth mentioning that the Greek Foreign Ministry condemned the actions by the Iranians, saying they were contrary to fundamental rules of international law and international navigation, and called for the immediate release of the ships and their crews.

In the statement released by the Greek Ministry, they said, that these actions would have a particularly negative impact on bilateral relations, as well as on EU-Iran relations and that ships flying the Greek flag are advised to follow the instructions of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy.

The seizure of the two Greek ships in the Persian Gulf has also been condemned by the European Commission who expressed the “grave concern” to the Iranian authorities about these acts and called for speedy clarification and resolution.


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