The United States has seized a Russian ship carrying Iranian oil near Greece, Reuters reported. The news agency, quoting three informed sources, said that the shipment would be sent to America on another ship.
Greek authorities detained the Iranian-flagged ship, with 19 Russian crew members on board, off the coast of Evia last month due to European Union sanctions. Although the ship was seized on the basis of sanctions for the invasion of Ukraine, it was later taken down due to confusion over sanctions about the owners.
The tanker, renamed Lana on March 1, and which has been flying the Iranian flag since May 1, has been in Greek waters ever since. A source at the Greek Ministry of Shipping said on Thursday that the US Department of Justice informed Greece that the ship was carrying Iranian oil. The source said that the shipment was transferred to another ship chartered by the United States.
All this came after the United States, on Wednesday, imposed sanctions on a Russian-backed money laundering and oil smuggling network by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards at a time when Washington is trying to revive a nuclear deal with Iran. Although US officials did not respond to Reuters’ request,
Another source confirmed the seizure of the oil cargo, and also said that the cargo had been transferred to the Liberian-flagged Ice Energy tanker operated by Greek shipping company Dynacom.
A source at Dynacom confirmed to Reuters that “the oil is being transferred to a ship called Dynacom Ice Energy, which will then sail to the United States.”
Today, Wednesday, the official Iranian news agency (IRNA) reported that the Iranian Foreign Ministry had asked the Chargé d’Affairs at the Greek Embassy in Tehran to hand over the seized goods in Greek waters. Greek government officials were unable to confirm this information.