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Another fiasco for pirates: Greece upholds Iran oil cargo ruling

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)
File photo shows the Liberian-flagged oil tanker Ice Energy (left) transferring crude oil from the Iranian-flagged oil tanker Lana off the shore of the Greek island of Evia on May 26. (Photo by Reuters)

The top court in Greece has endorsed a verdict issued last month which ordered the release of an Iranian oil cargo detained in the country in April under US pressure with the Iranian embassy in Athens calling the ruling as another fiasco for American pirates.

Media reports said that the Supreme Civil and Criminal Court of Greece had issued a verdict on Tuesday upholding a previous court ruling which allowed Iranian oil tanker Lana to take its oil cargo and leave Greek waters.

Lana and its cargo had been seized in Greece’s Karystos after the ship encountered an engine problem and was forced to moor off the area amid rough seas and as it was heading to the southern Peloponnese peninsula where it was to offload its cargo on to another tanker.

Judges in the highest judicial authority in Greece found no reason to overturn the ruling issued in early June which had prevented the confiscation of Lana’s cargo under a legal attempt by the US Department of Justice.

Iranian embassy said in a tweet on Tuesday that the new ruling was a major blow to repeated US attempts to confiscate Iranian oil under unilateral sanctions imposed on Iran in 2018 when Washington pulled out of an international deal on Tehran's nuclear program.

“Soon, the transfer operation will begin and Iran’s stolen oil has to be returned to Lana. Another fiasco for pirates!” said the embassy.

That comes as Iran had detained two Greek tankers in the Persian Gulf in April in response to Lana’s seizure.

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