TEHRAN, Iran ( Associated Press) — Tehran has sought the release of a ship seized by Greek authorities in their waters last month, reportedly under pressure from Washington, Iranian state media reported on Friday.
The Foreign Ministry called on the Swiss envoy, who represents the United States in Tehran, to file a diplomatic protest over the incident as they have no embassy there. Greek media described the ship as a tanker carrying Iranian crude in violation of international sanctions.
IRNA news agency reported that Iran called the move a “violation of international maritime law and international conventions” in its protest.
On Wednesday, Iran summoned the Greek charge d’affaires regarding the matter. A day later, a Greek official said that the ship’s oil was being transferred from the port of Caristos on the Aegean Sea island of Evia to another ship following “judicial intervention by US officials in relation to the ship’s cargo”.
The incident comes amid heightened tensions between the US and Iran, which is under international sanctions since former President Donald Trump withdrew the US from Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers in 2018.
Earlier, the US seized the cargo of two tankers suspected of transporting Iranian oil as part of an elaborate sanctions-busting plan involving forged documents and refurbished the deck of the ship to prevent illegal shipments. Had to paint.
The seizure details were included in a federal civil case in February after Greek-managed ships in Houston and the Bahamas discharged their valuable cargo at the direction of US law enforcement.