Iranian military operatives have seized two Greek oil tankers in the Persian Gulf on Friday. The Associated Press initially reported that the US Navy is “looking into” the reports. The tankers were boarded in international waters in the gulf, with the AP in follow-up saying that IRGC operatives now have control of the ships.
The IRGC has announced it is in possession of the seized vessels, with Bloomberg reporting, “The Guard’s announcement comes as tensions remain high between Iran and the West over stalled negotiations regarding its rapidly advancing nuclear program.” And more according to the AP:
The Guard issued a statement on its website, accusing the unnamed tankers of unspecified violations.
Greece’s Foreign Ministry said Iranian authorities “violently took over” the two ships in an “act of piracy.”
Industry monitor Lloyd’s List maritime intelligence describes that its “sources confirmed that in two seemingly similar operations the suezmaxes Delta Poseidon (IMO: 9468671) and Prudent Warrior (IMO: 9753545), both under Greek flag, were approached by Iranian helicopters on Friday afternoon.”
“They were both boarded by military personnel and later escorted by naval vessels from international traffic lanes to Iranian waters a few miles off the coast,” the report continues.
#BREAKING A second Greek-flagged oil tanker, Prudent Warrior, has also been seized by the Iranian military, according to @LloydsList.
The seizure of the two vessels comes in response to Greece's move to seize an Iranian tanker and letting the US confiscate its crude oil. pic.twitter.com/R2THAMo1d4
— Iran International English (@IranIntl_En) May 27, 2022
Earlier in the day Tehran threated “punitive measures” after the United States seized a Russian flagged tanker transporting Iranian oil off Greece.
Iranian sources stated following the tanker seizure in the Mediterranean, “The Islamic Republic has decided to take punitive measures against Greece after it seized an Iranian tanker and let the US government confiscate its crude oil, Nour News, affiliated to Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, reports.”