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US Seizes Iranian Oil Cargo Near Greek Island

US Seizes Iranian Oil Cargo Near Greek Island

Thursday, 26 May, 2022 - 10:45
The seal of the United States Department of Justice is seen on the building exterior of the United States Attorney's Office of the Southern District of New York in Manhattan, New York City, US, August 17, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

The United States has confiscated an Iranian oil cargo held onboard a Russian-operated ship near Greece and will send the cargo to the United States aboard another vessel, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Greek authorities last month impounded the Iranian-flagged Pegas, with 19 Russian crew members on board, near the coast of the southern island of Evia due to EU sanctions.

The vessel was later released due to confusion about sanctions over its owners.

According to information at the time, the tanker was carrying 115,000 tons of Iranian oil.

One source at Greece's shipping ministry said on Thursday that the US Department of Justice had "informed Greece that the cargo on the vessel is Iranian oil".

"The cargo has been transferred to another ship that was hired by the US," the source added, without providing further detail.

“Following a request from the US justice system, the oil is to be transferred to the United States at the expense of that country," a spokeswoman for the Greek port police told AFP on Wednesday.

Tehran strongly protested the decision, calling it "international robbery," the Iranian maritime authority said.

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