Iran rejects French, German 'interference' in its seizure of Greek oil tankers
Iran Press TV
Wednesday, 01 June 2022 2:53 PM
Iran has strongly rejected the "one-sided" and "unjustifiable" statements of France and Germany regarding its seizure of two Greek oil tankers, urging the two countries to take a more constructive stance by genuinely supporting freedom of navigation and maritime safety.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh in a statement on Wednesday said Tehran strongly rejects such statements, which seem to have become a daily habit of those issuing them.
"Such inappropriate interference in the independent judicial processes of our country will not help resolve the issues," he asserted.
The French and German foreign ministries, in separate statements, denounced the seizure of Greek oil tankers as a violation of international law and called on Iran to release the ships immediately.
Paris underlined its "commitment to the rules of international law protecting the freedom of navigation and maritime safety" and called on Iran to "immediately cease its actions that contravene these rules."
Berlin noted that Iran's actions were "unjustifiable interference in commercial shipping and therefore constitute a severe violation of international regulations."
However, the two European countries failed to condemn Greece's illegal seizure of an Iranian-flagged oil tanker in its territorial waters, followed by the transfer of the oil cargo to the US, days before Iran's seizure of the Greek ships.
"Unfortunately, those countries are protesting against the legal measures taken in Iran while remaining silent in the face of the illegal seizure of the Iranian-flagged ship by Greek authorities and the transfer of its cargo in accordance with another country's domestic laws and regulations," Khatibzadeh said.
He also advised Paris and Berlin not to support violations committed by Greek ships but, rather, support legal proceedings based on international law aimed at ensuring freedom of navigation and maritime security.
Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) seized the two Greek oil tankers, Prudent Warrior and Delta Poseidon, on Friday over violations in the Persian Gulf, days after Greece transferred the oil to the US.
It was not the first time the US confiscated Iranian oil outside its territorial waters. In 2020, four cargoes of Iranian oil bound for Venezuela were seized by the US with the help of foreign agents. The cargoes were then sold for more than $40 million, according to reports.
Last Friday, the Iranian Foreign Ministry summoned the chargĂ© d'affaires of Switzerland, which represents Washington's interests in Tehran, to protest the US confiscation of the Iranian oil cargo, which it denounced as "an act of piracy" that was "in violation of international standards."
Iran "tried to activate all diplomatic channels immediately, and the Iranian foreign minister talked with his Greek counterpart in an effort to resolve the issue, but the Greek government showed that orders made by a third party were more important to them," Khatibzadeh said during a press conference on Tuesday.
Back in July 2019, Iran seized the British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero after it violated international maritime regulations and ignored warnings from Iranian port officials, sending a strong message that it will not tolerate any mischievous moves within or near its territorial waters.
The confiscation of the two Greek ships also shows that the Islamic Republic will leave no hostile act unanswered at the international level, including acts of piracy ordered by Western powers and conducted by their proxies.
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