Iran has confirmed the release of two Greek oil tankers that it seized in the Gulf in May, ending a months-long diplomatic impasse that has strained relations between Athens and Tehran.
The Iranian foreign ministry said that an Iranian-flagged tanker seized in Greece had also left Greek waters.
“The final agreement was reached today in Tehran,” the ministry said in a statement on Wednesday, confirming earlier media reports of a deal.
According to a memorandum signed by the two countries, the parties have agreed to foster the cooperation necessary to improve maritime security, the statement added.
The Greek shipping ministry confirmed the vessels Prudent Warrior and Delta Poseidon had left Iran.
“Today is a very pleasant day for our sailors, but also for Greece in general, since an unpleasant and particularly complex case came to an end, following systematic efforts by the Greek government,” Greek Shipping Minister Giannis Plakiotakis said in a statement.
Greek authorities in April impounded the Iranian-flagged tanker Lana, formerly Pegas, and its oil cargo near the coast of Evia, due to sanctions following legal action by the United States.
The US later confiscated part of its oil cargo because of sanctions on Iran. The removal of oil from the Lana prompted Iranian forces in May to seize the two Greek tankers in the Gulf and sail them back to Iran.
The Prudent Warrior’s destination was listed as the United Arab Emirates port of Khor Fakkan, according to Eikon data.
Polembros Shipping, which manages the vessel, said 17 out of 24 Greek and Filipino crew members had been replaced.
Merchant shipping remains prey to hazards in the Gulf. A tanker associated with an Israeli billionaire was hit off the coast of Oman on Tuesday, sustaining minor damage to its hull, Israeli-controlled Eastern Pacific Shipping said on Wednesday.