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Crews of seized Greek tankers not detained, are in good health: Iran's PMO

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The Iranian-flagged oil tanker Lana (former Pegas) is seen off the port of Karystos on the Aegean Sea island of Evia, Greece. (Photo by AP)

Iran's Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) says the crews of two Greek oil tankers seized by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) in the Persian Gulf are not detained but are aboard the vessels and in good health.

"All crew members of both Greek ships are in full health and being protected while on board in accordance with international law, and they are provided with necessary services," Iran's maritime body said in a statement on Saturday.

It added that the two Greek tankers were seized due to maritime violations and noted that the issue is under investigation based on evidence and documents.

The necessary legal action will be taken after the completion of the process, the PMO said.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran, as a party to the 2006 Maritime Labor Convention, fulfills its commitments vis-à-vis all seafarers, including the guest seafarers," the statement pointed out.

The IRGC announced in a statement on Friday that it had seized two Greek oil tankers in the Persian Gulf over violations, days after an Iranian oil tanker was captured by Greece in its territorial waters and its oil cargo was transferred to the US.

The Greek Foreign Ministry said later on Friday that Iranian navy helicopters had landed gunmen on the two tankers earlier in the day.

One of them, the Delta Poseidon, was sailing in international waters at the time, the ministry said, adding that the second tanker was near the Iranian coast when seized.

The ministry also said nine Greeks were among the crews of both vessels, but did not give a number of other sailors on board.

Shortsighted miscalculations must not hamper ancient Iran-Greece ties: Foreign ministry 

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Saturday that Tehran and Athens have always enjoyed ancient ties based on mutual respect, which should not be hampered by deeply shortsighted miscalculations upon an order of a third party, referring to the US.

"Our ties must not be hampered by deeply shortsighted miscalculations, including highway robbery on the command of a 3rd party," Khatibzadeh said in a tweet.

He added that Iran's ancient ties with Greece and its great people have always been based on mutual respect.

The Iranian spokesperson also confirmed the crew members of the two seized Greek tankers "are safe and in good health."


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