Seized Iranian tanker is released by Greece

Iranian-flagged, ex-Russian-flagged, tankship Lana / Pegas has been released by the Greek authorities, according to Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO). It said on Tuesday June 14th that the vessel, which was seized in April by Greece, was no longer impounded. It also said that its oil cargo would be returned to its owner

“With the swift and authoritative action of Iran, the Greek government finally issued an order and we are now witnessing the lifting of the ship’s seizure and the return of its cargo to its owner,” the PMO told Iran’s semi-official Mehr news agency.

The ship, previously called Pegas and renamed Lana in March, had reported an engine problem in April. It headed towards the southern Peloponnese peninsula to offload its cargo on to another tanker, but rough seas forced it to moor just off Karystos. It was then seized as part of EU sanctions against Russia.

A Greek court overturned an earlier ruling last week that allowed the confiscation by the US of part of the Iranian-flagged tanker’s Iranian oil cargo off the Greek coast, although this ruling has still not officially been made public.