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Iran invites envoys from Greece and Switzerland in response to the US seizure of Iran’s oil

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Greece is summoned 

The Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned a Greek Chargé d’affaires to Tehran on Wednesday and expressed dissatisfaction with the seizure of Iranian-flagged ships in Greek waters. The confiscation was described by the ministry as an “example of an international bandit.” Earlier Wednesday, Iran’s Port and Maritime Organization (PMO) issued a statement condemning the operation as “piracy” and a “violation of international standards.”

 The yacht was picked up in Greece about seven weeks ago by an order from the US Department of Justice, which it believed was affected by Russian asset restrictions, sources said. Greek police said they were transporting licensed Iranian oil, although they were arrested for technical flaws, according to later reports. The PMO accused Greek officials of “interfering with the Iranian vessel’s voyage” and seizing the cargo while urging the Greek government to fulfill its international commitments. According to the Iranian maritime organization, the tanker flying the Iranian flag was detained by the Greek government within the borders of that country, and the cargo on board the vessel was “seized by a court decision” and “in conjunction” with the US government. 

It stated that Greek authorities had offered “no collaboration or help” to the vessel, “while the military forces of that nation proceeded to unload the cargo, labeling it an “act of piracy.”

 According to the statement, the vessel encountered terrible weather and many technical issues, “leading the crew to ask for help.”

 According to international and technical norms and standards, the state with the nearest shoreline to the vessel seeking assistance due to safety risks “shall collaborate by leading the vessel to a location of safety,” according to the statement. According to the group, US soldiers have begun to unload the cargo on board the vessel, which may potentially result in an oil leak and damage to the maritime environment owing to technical issues. The statement stated, “the Greek government has been repeatedly encouraged to meet its international responsibilities and stop such dangerous and high-risk practices that jeopardize the marine ecology, notably inside Greek seas.”

Convening Swiss 

Authorities have submitted a Swiss envoy on Friday to represent Tehran’s U.S. interests in protest of the U.S. seizure of Iran’s oil from Russia-operated vessels near Greece, officials said in a statement. According to the semi-official ISNA news agency, “the Islamic republic has voiced deep worry that the US administration continues to violate international law and international maritime treaties.” The ministry demanded the immediate release of the ship and its cargo. Pegas, an Iranian-flagged vessel, was sent by Washington on February 22, two days before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, for sanctions against Promsvyazbank, a bank considered important to Russia’s defense sector. It was one of the five boats identified.

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