Iran summons Swiss envoy over US oil seizure | Shipping News

Tehran has demanded the speedy launch of the Pegas, an Iranian-flagged tanker being held in Greek waters.

Iran’s international ministry has reportedly summoned the envoy of Switzerland, which represents Washington’s pursuits in Tehran, to protest towards the American seizure of Iranian oil from a Russian-operated ship in Greek waters.

The ministry additionally referred to as for the speedy launch of the ship and its cargo, the IRNA state information company reported on Friday.

“The Islamic Republic expressed its deep concern over the US authorities’s continued violation of worldwide legal guidelines and worldwide maritime conventions,” IRNA and different media shops quoted the international ministry as saying.

The Swiss envoy advised Iranian officers he would convey Tehran’s message to Washington, IRNA reported. The developments got here after the cargo ship was seized on Wednesday.

The information company quoted Iran’s Ports and Maritime Group as saying the tanker – named the Pegas – had sought refuge alongside the Greek coast after experiencing technical issues and poor climate, including the confiscation of its cargo was “a transparent instance of piracy”.

Individually on Wednesday, the US imposed sanctions on what it described as a Russian-backed oil smuggling and cash laundering community for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

US sanctions

The Iranian-flagged Pegas was amongst 5 vessels designated by Washington on February 22 – two days earlier than Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – for sanctions towards Promsvyazbank, a financial institution seen as important to Russia’s defence sector.

The vessel’s Russian proprietor Transmorflot was subsequently designated on Might 8. The tanker, renamed Lana on March 1 and flying the Iranian flag since Might 1, has remained close to Greek waters since then. It was beforehand Russian flagged.

It was unclear whether or not the ship’s cargo was impounded as a result of it was Iranian oil or due to the sanctions on the tanker over its Russian nexus. Iran and Russia face separate US sanctions.

A spokesperson for the US Division of Justice declined to touch upon the oil seizure however three sources acquainted with the matter advised the Reuters information company on Thursday that Washington plans to ship the cargo on board the Pegas to the US on one other vessel.

The row over the tanker has taken place towards the backdrop of tense efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran, the US and several other different world powers.

On Wednesday, US President Joe Biden’s particular envoy for Iran acknowledged that prospects of restoring the settlement are “tenuous at greatest” amid as of but unmet calls for from Tehran for Washington to take away the IRGC from its checklist of “international terrorist organisations”.

The 2015 deal noticed sanctions lifted on Iran in return for curbs on the nation’s nuclear programme. Former US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the accord in 2018.