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Iran’s Ports and Maritime Org. urges Greece to observe int’l obligations

Tehran, IRNA – Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) has urged Greece to act committed to its international obligations, after the European country seized an Iranian-flagged ship.

The PMO, as the authorized maritime administration of Iran, issued a statement on Wednesday, saying that an Iranian-flagged ship was detained in Greek waters and its cargo was confiscated under a court ruling and in coordination with the US government.

That’s while, the statement added, the ship was forced to seek safety off Greece’s coasts. However, it unfortunately received no help and its cargo was discharged, which is a blatant act of piracy.

“Having faced bad weather conditions and technical problems, the ship called for assistance in accordance with international regulations. Based on those regulations, the vessels whose safety is threatened and demand assistance should be moved to a safe place by the country near which those vessels are.”

The same country, the statement added, should help the in-trouble vessel to fix its technical problems so that it can continue on its international path.

The Greek government, however, failed to take those measures despite the fact that it is a member of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and should fulfill its obligations toward Iran, the statement further said, adding that Greece detained the ship and confiscated its oil cargo.

“Greece also refused to allow the ship to continue its voyage despite repeated demands by the IMO and the Iranian Foreign Ministry.”

“Americans began to discharge the cargo on Tuesday night, claiming to have a Greek court order. Since the vessel had technical problems, discharging the cargo would cause contamination. For that reason, we call on the Greek government to immediately fulfill its international obligations and end the high-risk measure which is a threat to maritime environment.”

The PMO statement further criticized Greece for failing to observe regulations set by the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL).

“The Greek government has violated environmental regulations and breached its commitments toward countries whose vessels need help. This shows that Greek coasts are not safe for distressed ships,” the statement concluded.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA

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