The US has confiscated a seized Iranian oil cargo held on a Russian-operated ship near Greece and will send the cargo to the United States aboard another vessel, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Iran PressEurope: Following the seizure of a ship with the flag of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Greek waters, the Iranian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday summoned Greece's Chargé d'Affaires (in the absence of its ambassador) to protest the move strongly.

Iran reminded the Greek government of its international obligations, given that the vessel had stopped due to a technical problem. He also condemned Greece's surrender to US pressure in this regard as unacceptable.

According to the reports, Greek authorities last month impounded the Iranian-flagged Pegas, with 19 Russian crew members on board, near the coast of the southern island of Evia due to EU sanctions.

Greek authorities said the ship was impounded as part of EU sanctions on Russia for the invasion of Ukraine. However, the vessel was later released due to confusion about sanctions over its owners.

The tanker, renamed Lana on March 1 and flying the Iranian flag since May 1, has remained near Greek waters. It was previously Russian-flagged.

A source at Greece's shipping ministry said on Thursday that the US Department of Justice had "informed Greece that the cargo on the vessel is Iranian oil."

"The cargo has been transferred to another ship that was hired by the US," the source added, without providing further details.

Reacting to blocking Iranian vessels from sailing by Greece, Iran's Ports and Shipping Organization (PMO), in a statement, said on Wednesday that the action was considered 'an act of piracy,' calling for abidance by international regulations.

The confiscation was confirmed by a separate Western source familiar with the matter, who added that the cargo was transferred onto the Liberia-flagged tanker Ice Energy, which Greek shipping company Dynacom operates.

A source at Dynacom confirmed that a "transfer of the oil was underway from the vessel to Dynacom's Ice Energy, which will then sail to the United States."


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