Greek Court Overturns US Seizure of Iranian Oil from Lana Tanker

A Greek court on Wednesday overturned a previous ruling allowing the United States to confiscate part of an Iranian oil cargo on the Iranian-flagged tanker Lana off the Greek coast of Karystos in southern Evia.

The incident provoked an angry reaction from Iran, which last month captured two Greek tankers in the Persian Gulf.

“The ruling has been canceled, the confiscation has been canceled, and therefore the property must be returned to the owner,” a legal representative of the shipping company told protothema. Panagiotis Chiotelis. This means that the seized amount, 107,000 tons of Iranian oil, must be returned and the tanker allowed to leave.

However, after the initial court ruling, the United States confiscated the Iranian oil cargo in May – it is not clear whether it was all or part – and transferred it to a chartered tanker from a Greek shipping company, which was reportedly supposed to deliver the cargo to a US port. Moreover, if the information in the Greek media is correct, the chartered tanker should still be anchored in the port of Piraeus.

Iran also appealed the court’s original decision, and its ambassador to Athens, Ahmad Nadero, visited the Lana tanker on Tuesday after its request to visit was approved by Greek authorities.

It was not immediately clear whether the US or Greek governments would challenge the decision, which was handed down in the Chalkis Regional Court of Appeal, notes Reuters.

The incident arose at the moment when, in April, the Greek authorities arrested the ship Lana under the Iranian flag formerly called pegasus, with 19 Russian crew members on board, off the coast of the southern island of Evia, allegedly due to European Union sanctions.

in response to Iran captured two Greek tankerswhich led to tensions between the two countries, with the Greeks calling the takeover “piracy” and the Iranians calling the Greeks “enemies”.

Recent developments are likely to ease tensions between Athens and Tehran and lead to the release of two tankers and their crews that remain hostage in the Persian Gulf.

Greek authorities later arrested Lana again, acting on an interim court order in respect of alleged debts to another shipping company, represented by attorney Georgios Kozanidis. The lawyer declined to reveal the name of the company he represents, but told Reuters the case involved unpaid towing services.

In any case, all participants in the conflict suffered material losses. But Greece, unlike Iran and Russia, has also suffered the strongest reputational losses. Since everyone perfectly understood the reason for the court’s decision and understood (especially the Turks) that one can not stand on ceremony with a country that cares for the interests of the metropolis, spitting on its own interests. Moreover, the defenders in this case did not lift a finger, well, except that they expressed “deep concern.”

PS What does the Mitsotakis government look like in the light of this decision, which just a week ago stated that We will not return oil to Iran?

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