Iran says that it expects confiscated oil cargo to be returned in full

Iran’s ambassador to Greece Ahmad Naderi has said that Iran expected an oil cargo that was confiscated by the US off the coast of Greece to be returned in full. His statement on June 9th followed a Greek appeal court ruling that struck out a lower court decision to permit US confiscation.

In April Greece impounded the Iranian-flagged Lana, formerly Pegas and formerly Russian-flagged. The vessel had 19 Russian crew members on board, and the initial Greek seizure was because of the sanctions against Russia.

The ship was then released due to complications over its ownership, only for the situation to morph into a case of US sanctions against Iran. In May the US confiscated part of the Iranian oil cargo onboard, transferring it to another ship.

“Following intensive follow-up, the Greek Court of Appeals will overturn the initial court ruling on the confiscation of Iranian oil and … the entire oil shipment will be returned,” Ambassador Ahmad Naderi said on the embassy’s Twitter account. The appeal court ruling has not yet officially been made public.

In retaliation Iranian forces last month seized two Greek tankers in the Arabian Gulf

Asked if the latest judicial decision could open the way for the release of the two Greek tankers and their crews, Greek government spokesperson Giannis Oikonomou insisted that the appeal court ruling had been made by an independent judiciary, and was not part of political negotiations.

“First of all, since the first moment, we have not connected the two incidents. The Iranian forces’ behaviour over the tankers was totally unjustified and unprovoked. Secondly, justice in our country has proven that it operates independently,” he told reporters.