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Greek court overturns decision on US seizure of confiscated Iranian oil cargo

A Greek court has overturned an earlier court ruling that allowed the United States to confiscate part of a shipment of Iranian crude on an Iranian-flagged vessel seized in the European country's territorial waters.

“The action for the reversal of the ruling was accepted by the court,” a source familiar with the matter said on Wednesday, Reuters reported. “It will be hard to overrule that (the appeal court’s ruling).”

It was not immediately clear if the US or Greek governments would challenge the new ruling issued by the Appeals court of the region of Chalkis.

“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.

Iran’s embassy in Athens on Thursday confirmed that the Greek Appeals court has overturned the initial ruling on the confiscation of Iranian oil following intensive follow-up.

“With God’s grace, the entire oil shipment will be returned [to Iran],” the embassy tweeted.

It added that the issue will remain on the agenda of “intensive consultations” between Iran and Greece to “ensure full implementation of the ruling.”

The embassy emphasized that preserving the Iranian nation’s rights is a red line.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry late last month summoned the Greek chargé d’affaires to protest the seizure of the Iranian-flagged vessel and confiscation of its crude cargo.

The ministry official condemned Greece’s “unacceptable” surrender to “illegal” US pressures and said the “seizure of the cargo of the ship” with the flag of the Islamic Republic of Iran was “an example of international piracy.”

According to reports, the vessel was seized nearly seven weeks ago in Greece on the orders of the US Department of Justice after it thought the vessel was subject to sanctions on Russian assets.

Following the Greek government’s move, Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) seized two Greek ships in the Persian Gulf for violations of rules and regulations after Tehran announced it was going to take “punitive action” against Athens.

Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) said on Sunday that all the crew members of the two seized Greek oil tankers – Delta Poseidon and Prudent Warrior – were in perfect mental and physical health and allowed to have phone communications with their families.


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