Two laden Greek tankers seized by Iranian forces
Suezmaxes Delta Poseidon and Prudent Warrior boarded in the Middle East Gulf and escorted to Iranian anchorage
Incidents emerge on Friday amid spat between Tehran and Athens over US seizure of Iranian oil cargo off Russian tanker held in Greek port
TWO GREEK oil tankers have been boarded in international waters by Iranian military personnel while navigating through the Middle East Gulf.
Industry sources confirmed that in two seemingly similar operations the suezmaxes Delta Poseidon (IMO: 9468671) and Prudent Warrior (IMO: 9753545), both under Greek flag, were approached by Iranian helicopters on Friday afternoon.
They were both boarded by military personnel and later escorted by naval vessels from international traffic lanes to Iranian waters a few miles off the coast.
A spokesperson at Polembros Shipping in Greece, the manager of the 2017-built Prudent Warrior, said the company had lost communication with the vessel. It had a crew of 24 Greeks and Filipinos on board.
Polembros has since learned from other Greek vessels in the vicinity that the tanker is now at an anchorage about 11 miles off the Iranian coast, he said.
The vessel had loaded at Basrah, Iraq, and is carrying an oil cargo for the US.
Delta Poseidon had also loaded at the same Iraqi port.
According to Lloyd’s List Intelligence, its destination was Agioi Theodoroi near Corinth and the cargo is understood to be for the Motor Oil refinery located there.
Delta Poseidon, which has a crew of 25 on board, is part of the fleet of Greece-based Delta Tankers. The company has been approached for comment.
Greece’s shipping ministry has been informed of the incidents.
The incidents occur at the end of a week that saw the US seize a cargo of Iranian crude oil from a Russian tanker held in Greece.
Tehran decried the move as “international robbery.”
According to state news agency Irna, Iran’s foreign ministry summoned the chargé d’affaires of the Greek embassy in Tehran to protest the move, calling it “a clear act of piracy”.
Iran has also protested to the envoy of Switzerland in Tehran, which represents US interests there, over the seizure in Greece of the cargo from the aframax Lana (IMO: 9256860), formerly named Pegas.
One industry source told Lloyd’s List: “we have to wait and see what the Iranians want but everyone, including security forces in the region, think this is a case of tit-for-tat.”