Greece court rules against US theft of Iranian oil, cargo likely to be returned
In retaliation for the illegal seizure of its oil cargo last month, Iran confiscated two Greek-flagged ships in its territorial waters
By News Desk - June 09 2022

One of the oil tankers seized by the IRGC in retaliation for the US-Greek theft of Iranian oil, seen anchored on the Island of Evia, Greece on 19 April 2022. (Photo credit: REUTERS/Vassilis Triandafyllou/File Photo)

On 8 June, a judge overturned the original Greek court ruling that rubber-stamped the US confiscation of Iranian oil.

“The action for the reversal of the ruling was accepted by the court,” an unnamed source told Reuters, before adding “it will be hard to overrule that [the appeal court’s ruling].”

“The court has ruled that the cargo be released. The Greek government was not involved,” a Greek government official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

In response to the news, the Iranian ambassador to Greece said on 9 June that he believes Iran will soon receive its oil shipment.

In retaliation for the coordinated theft of its oil by Greece and the US, naval forces from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) seized two ships sailing under the Greek flag in the Persian Gulf on 27 May.

The Delta Poseidon and Prudent Warrior ships were seized near the Iranian ports of Bandar Lengeh and Asalouyeh.

During the theft of the Iranian oil, a minor oil spill was caused, prompting condemnation of the theft by Greek environmental groups.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibizadeh urged Greece to resolve the issue without the involvement of the US.

The Iranian official said: “Mr Blinken has to realize that the era when the US single-handedly imposes its rules on the world has come to an end … the biggest disrupter of free trade in the world.”

“Unfortunately, the Greek government demonstrated that taking orders from a third party is more important to them … But we believe relations between Iran and Greece should remain well-intentioned,” FM spokesman Khatibizadeh told reporters in Tehran.

“I suggest the Greek government take the legal and judicial route in this respect without any fanfare,” Khatibizadeh said.

The Greek court ruling which overturned the initial ruling that approved the US confiscation of Iranian oil indicates that Athens desires to mend ties with Iran without US involvement.

In spite of US sanctions, Iran has increased its oil trade internationally, maintaining exports of one million barrels per day (bpd) since the start of the Iranian new year.

Revenue from Iranian energy exports increased by 60 percent in the same time period.

According to Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, the economic roadmap written by Tehran is designed to anticipate growth and success independently of the outcomes of negotiations to revive the 2015 nuclear deal currently taking place in Vienna.

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