Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) says all the crew members of the two Greek oil tankers seized late last month by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) are in perfect health and have phone communications with their families.
In a statement on Sunday, the PMO said the deputy head of the maritime affairs of Iran’s Hormozgan Province Ports and Maritime has met with the captains onboard the two tankers – Delta Poseidon and Prudent Warrior – after receiving numerous messages expressing concern about the conditions of the crew members.
“In this meeting, the captains of both ships confirmed that all crew members are mentally and physically healthy, and the military forces had treated them appropriately,” the statement said.
The IRGC announced in a statement late last month that it had seized the two Greek oil tankers over violations in the Persian Gulf, days after an Iranian oil tanker was captured by Greece in its territorial waters and its oil cargo was transferred to the US.
Although the Greek Foreign Ministry immediately denounced the incident as a “violent taking over of two Greek-flagged ships,” the PMO made clear that no complaints have been filed by the ships’ crew members, who have also been provided with SIM cards and cellphones to call their families.
Considering that the tankers were carrying oil derivatives, the PMO representative provided the tankers’ captains with necessary safety and pollution prevention instructions, the statement said, highlighting the sensitivity of the region, which is recognized as a Special Environmental Zone by the International Maritime Organization and the MARPOL Convention.
“According to the request of the ships’ captains and in accordance with international regulations and standards, it was decided to take necessary action to facilitate the implementation of international requirements by the ships’ crew, including recording the ship’s events,” the statement read.
The organization noted that the captains received instructions on the preservation of the cargo during a phone conference with the ships’ representatives and the shipowners’ headquarters in Greece.
The statement also explained that the captains were advised to inform the relevant authorities “should a new need arises.”
“The ships’ captains and crews were also informed that in accordance with international standards, there would be no restrictions for carrying out daily operations and preparations on board the ships,” it said, adding that consular meetings are now possible for the two ships’ crews.
The earlier seizure of the Iranian oil cargo by the US 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.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry has summoned the chargé d’affaires of Switzerland, which represents Washington’s interests in Tehran, to protest the move, which it denounced as “an act of piracy” that was “in violation of international standards.”
Iran “tried to activate all diplomatic channels immediately, and the Iranian foreign minister talked with his Greek counterpart in an effort to resolve the issue, but the Greek government showed that orders made by a third party were more important to them,” Khatibzadeh said during a press conference last Tuesday.
Observers say the confiscation of the two Greek ships shows that the Islamic Republic will leave no hostile act unanswered at the international level, including acts of piracy ordered by Western powers and conducted by their proxies.