Ali Shamkhani made the remark in a Thursday tweet after reports indicated that a Greek court has overturned an earlier 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).”
The change in Greece’s behavior came after Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) retaliated Athens’ measure by seizing two Greek ships in the Persian Gulf for violations of rules and regulations. Tehran had already announced that it was going to take “punitive action” against Athens.
Reacting to the Greek court’s verdict, Shamkhani said, “The change in Greece’s behavior following Iran’s proportionate and powerful reaction to illegal seizure of its tanker on the US’ order, along with scores of other experiences, proves that the sole way to defend the country’s rights in the face of bullying, both in the case of JCPOA and in the [International Atomic Energy] Agency is retaliatory measure.”
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.”