The Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps has confirmed the confiscation of the Greek flagged Delta Poseidon and Prudent Warrior by Iranian helicopter borne troops less than an hour ago. The official justificaiton is that the vessels were in “violation of territorial waters”. Although the AIS information clearly shows the vessels an appropriate distance from Iran. The Delta Poseidon onloaded crude oil in Basrah, Iraq and was bound for Agioi Theodoroi, near Corinth, and the cargo is reportedly bound for the Motor Oil refinery located there. The vessel is currently bound for the Iranian Coast under escort of several Iranian surface vessels. The Greek Company Delta, who operates the vessel and the Greek Government have not commented thus far.
The Prudent Warrior has also reportedly been boarded by Iranian forces. However, this incident, happening simultaneously has much less details available. This ship was bound for Fujairah City, UAE from Ras Laffan, Qatar with no details on the cargo.
Earlier today the Iranian government vowed to take punitive action on Greek vessels in the Persian Gulf after the Greek government boarded, then handed over the Iranian Flagged Lana, off the shore of Karystos, Greece on April 15th. The Lana was waiting in Greek waters since then while the Greek government weighed the American request to transfer the ships contents. Greek authorities cooperated with American requests to seize the vessel and transfer the oil to a U.S. ship to be delivered to the United States yesterday. The Iranian-flagged ship, the Lana, was among five vessels designated by the United States – two days before Russia invaded Ukraine – for sanctions against Promsvyazbank, a bank viewed as critical to Russia’s defense sector. Transmorflot, the Russian company that operates the tanker, sailed the ship under the name Pegas until March 8th, when it was renamed Lana and re-flown under the Iranian flag. However, the United States informed the Greek government of the change, presumably so the Russian company could circumvent sanctions, and the vessel was promptly seized, with Iranian oil inside. This violated both sanctions on the Russian company, and sanctions on Iran, by the United States.
The Ice Energy is operated by Greek company Dynacom, who was hired by the United States to transfer the oil and bring it to the United States. The Lana apparently had more than 100,000 tons of Iranian crude.