Blinken Strongly Condemns Iran's Seizure Of Two Greek-Flagged Vessels
By RFE/RL May 30, 2022
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has condemned the "unjustified seizure" last week of two Greek-flagged vessels by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.
Blinken made the comments in a telephone call with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a readout of the call.
Iranian forces seized the two Greek tankers in the Persian Gulf on May 28 shortly after Tehran warned it would take punitive action against Athens over the confiscation of Iranian oil by the United States from a tanker held off the Greek coast.
"Iran's continued harassment of vessels and interference with navigational rights and freedoms are a threat to maritime security and the global economy," Blinken told Dendias.
The U.S. and Greek diplomats called on Iran to immediately release the seized vessels, their cargoes, and their crews. Blinken said the United States stands with its NATO ally "in the face of this unjustified seizure."
Iran's state maritime body said on May 29 that the Greek tankers' crews were in good health and being cared for onboard their vessels.
The two tankers were seized after Greek authorities impounded a vessel off Greece due to European Union sanctions. The United States later confiscated the Iranian oil cargo held onboard.
The Pegas and its Russian crew were later released
Based on reporting by Reuters
Copyright (c) 2022. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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