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Iran: Crews of seized Greek tankers ‘in good health,’ not arrested

The Greek-flagged oil tanker Prudent Warrior, one of the ships seized by Iran, is seen as it sails past Istanbul, Turkey, April 19, 2019. (Dursun Çam via AP)
The Greek-flagged oil tanker Prudent Warrior, one of the ships seized by Iran, is seen as it sails past Istanbul, Turkey, April 19, 2019. (Dursun Çam via AP)

Iran says the crews of two Greek oil tankers it has seized in the Gulf are in “good health” and not under arrest.

The crews have remained on board the two tankers after Iran’s Revolutionary Guards seized them on Friday, days after Athens confirmed it would deliver to Washington Iranian oil from a Russian tanker it seized.

Greece has condemned Tehran’s detention of the two ships as “tantamount to acts of piracy” and warned its citizens not to travel to Iran.

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh says in a tweet that the crews were “safe and in good health.”

He describes ties between the two countries as having “always been based on mutual respect,” adding that they “must not be hampered by deeply shortsighted miscalculations, including highway robbery on the command of a third party.”

Iran’s ports authority denies the crews were arrested, according to a statement carried by the official news agency IRNA.

It adds they were being “protected… in accordance with international law. All the necessary services are being provided to them.”

The Revolutionary Guards — the ideological arm of Iran’s military — had said it seized the tankers “due to violations,” without elaborating further.

Greece said one of the tankers had been sailing in international waters, while the second was near the Iranian coast when it was seized.

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