Greece’s shipping ministry on Friday said Iranian military personnel have boarded two Greek-flagged tankers in the Gulf.

The vessels were identified as the Suezmax Delta Poseidon, which is carrying crude oil to a refinery west of Piraeus, in the greater Athens area. The vessels belongs to the Delta Tankers company.

A second tanker, identified as the Suezmax Prudent Warrior, belongs to Polembros Shipping.

Internatinal media reports link the development with the confiscation by US authorities of a cargo of Iranian crude being transported by the Russian-controlled tanker Lana, formerly Pegas, which was first boarded by Greek authorities in mid April at the southern Evia island harbor of Karystos. At the time, the vessel was not seized, as it was not on a list of companies sanctioned due to the war in Ukraine.

However, it remained anchored off Karystos, with the US side subsequently claiming that the crude it carried was from Iran, leading to its confiscation and reloading to another tanker for transport to the United States.

Tehran at the time referred to “international piracy”, with the Greek chargé d’affaires in the Iranian capital summoned to the foreign ministry to be handed a demarche charging “piracy”.

On Friday afternoon, the Greek foreign ministry announced that it had briefed the EU, the IMO and allies over the development, while issuing a recommendation that Greek citizens avoid trips to Iran.

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