Two Greek-flagged ships fell into the hands of the Iranians in the Persian Gulf after they were captured by the Iranian Navy, prompting an angry response from Athens. Experts believe that this was revenge for the seizure of Iranian oil by Greece, which Iran described as “international robbery.”
As it became known from the message of the Greek Foreign Ministry, an Iranian Navy helicopter landed today on a ship flying the Greek flag Delta Poseidon, which was in neutral waters (22 nautical miles from the coast of Iran) in the Persian Gulf. The armed men then seized the ship’s crew, including two Greek citizens. A similar incident reportedly occurred on another Greek-flagged ship, with seven Greek citizens, off the coast of Iran.
By order of Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, the secretary general of the ministry, Themistoklis Demiris, strongly protested to the Iranian ambassador in Athens. The above actions “essentially amount to acts of piracy,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly condemned these actions, which are contrary to the basic norms of international law and international navigation, and called for the immediate release of the ships and their crews. He also stressed that these actions would have a particularly negative impact on bilateral relations, as well as on relations between EU and Iran.
The Foreign Ministry has already informed the European External Action Service, the International Maritime Organization, as well as allies and partners of Greece. In light of the above, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises Greek citizens to refrain from traveling to Iran.
Ships flying the Greek flag are required to follow the instructions of the Ministry of Shipping and Island Policy, with which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in close coordination and constant communication.
Revenge for seizing Iranian oil?
Experts believe that the seizure of Greek tankers is revenge for what happened recently capture of a Russian tanker “Pegas” and the ensuing confiscation of 115,000 tons of oil belonging to Iran, which Greece then shipped to the US.
As the old saying goes, don’t throw stones if you live in a glass house.
Greece, which previously had excellent relations with Iran and made a decent amount of money transporting and trading Iranian oil products, in 2019 became one of the first countries in Europe that, despite formal permission from the United States, unilaterally cut off economic relations with Iran, joining to US embargo. At the same time, Greek shipowners and oil product traders suffered huge losses, losing lucrative contracts.
It is noteworthy that seven years earlier, Greece refused join the sanctions against Iran, demanding in return significant financial and economic concessions from other EU states, which the initiators of the embargo did not agree to. Maybe because at that time in power, for a relatively short time, was Lucas Papademosalthough born in the USA, but nevertheless a former patriot of Greece?