TEHERAN – Two Greek oil tankers and crews taken hostage after Greece let the United States seize oil from an Iranian-flagged tanker will be released, four months after they were taken, the Greek union of commercial ships seafarers said.
In a turnabout, a Greek court reversed the confiscation of the oil but it has taken two months for the Iranians to make good on their promise to let the Greek ships and crews go in return after it soured relations between the countries.
The Iranian-flagged tanker Lana, formerly Pegas, was seized by Greece in April and had remained under arrest for months. The US had confiscated part of its oil cargo due to sanctions.
The Lana, which had engine problems, was officially released in July. Anchored off Piraeus since then, it has retrieved the oil cargo that the US took and is expected to sail back to Iran, said the news agency Reuters in a report.
Iran has agreed that the tankers’ crew will be replaced, allowing their return to their countries of origin soon, the union said in a statement on its website but it wasn’t clear when they would yet be let go.