Iran rejects French, German ‘interference’ in its seizure of Greek oil tankers
Iran has strongly rejected the “one-sided” and “unjustifiable” statements of France and Germany regarding its seizure of two Greek oil tankers, urging the two countries to take a more constructive stance by genuinely supporting freedom of navigation and maritime safety.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh in a statement on Wednesday said Tehran strongly rejects such statements, which seem to have become a daily habit of those issuing them.
“Such inappropriate interference in the independent judicial processes of our country will not help resolve the issues,” he asserted.
The French and German foreign ministries, in separate statements, denounced the seizure of Greek oil tankers as a violation of international law and called on Iran to release the ships immediately.
Paris underlined its “commitment to the rules of international law protecting the freedom of navigation and maritime safety” and called on Iran to “immediately cease its actions that contravene these rules.”
Berlin noted that Iran’s actions were “unjustifiable interference in commercial shipping and therefore constitute a severe violation of international regulations.”
However, the two European countries failed to condemn Greece’s illegal seizure of an Iranian-flagged oil tanker in its territorial waters, followed by the transfer of the oil cargo to the US, days before Iran’s seizure of the Greek ships.
“Unfortunately, those countries are protesting against the legal measures taken in Iran while remaining silent in the face of the illegal seizure of the Iranian-flagged ship by Greek authorities and the transfer of its cargo in accordance with another country’s domestic laws and regulations,” Khatibzadeh said.
He also advised Paris and Berlin not to support violations committed by Greek ships but, rather, support legal proceedings based on international law aimed at ensuring freedom of navigation and maritime security.
Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) seized the two Greek oil tankers, Prudent Warrior and Delta Poseidon, on Friday over violations in the Persian Gulf, days after Greece transferred the oil to the US.
It was not the first time the US confiscated Iranian oil outside its territorial waters. In 2020, four cargoes of Iranian oil bound for Venezuela were seized by the US with the help of foreign agents. The cargoes were then sold for more than $40 million, according to reports.