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Iran Says Crews Of Greek Tankers Seized By IRGC In Good Health.

A Revolutionary Guard patrols the deck of a ship in the Persian Gulf. (illustrative photo)

A Revolutionary Guard patrols the deck of a ship in the Persian Gulf. (illustrative photo)

Iranian maritime authorities said on May 28 that the crews of two Greek tankers they seized a day earlier are aboard the vessels and in good health, according to the semiofficial Iranian news agency Tasnim.

Troops from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) seized the Delta Poseidon and another Greek-operated tanker in what appears to be a tit-for-tat punitive action as shipping seizures mount amid rising international tensions with Iran and in the Gulf region.

The Iranian actions follow Greece's impounding of an Iranian-flagged, Russian-crewed tanker called the Pegas (formerly the Lana) last month.

The IRGC cited unspecified violations by the Greek tankers.

Nur News, a website with links to Iran's Supreme National Security Council, had suggested Iran planned a punitive action over the Pegas seizure.

At least seven of the two Greek vessels' crew members are Greek nationals, with no public information on the nationalities of the others.

Greece's Foreign Ministry protested to the Iranian ambassador in Athens over the “violent taking over of two Greek-flagged ships” in the Persian Gulf. “These acts effectively amount to acts of piracy."

It demanded the immediate release of the vessels and their crews, warning of "particularly negative consequences" in relations with Athens and the European Union.

The Greeks' seizure of the Pegas with 19 Russians aboard was based on U.S. and EU sanctions targeting Russian oil amid Moscow's war on Ukraine, and the United States later confiscated its oil cargo before the vessel was released.

Iran and world powers continue to joust diplomatically as efforts founder to revive a nuclear deal abandoned by the United States in 2018 that exchanged nuclear concessions by Tehran for relief on U.S. and UN sanctions.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP

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