Return Begins of Crude Oil US Seized from Iranian Tanker
The nearly four-month battle for control of the crude oil tanker Lana and its cargo appears to be coming to an end. The vessel, which was originally registered in Russia but later switched to the Iranian flag, has been laying in the Piraeus anchorage waiting for the return of the portion of its cargo offloaded onto a second tanker in the United States’ attempt to confiscate the cargo for violations of the sanctions on the Iranian oil industry.
The not-for-profit watchdog organization UANI (United Against Nuclear Iran) is reporting that the return of nearly 60,000 tons of crude oil has begun. The organization says that the ship-to-ship transfer of the oil cargo should be completed by this weekend.
The 70,377 dwt tanker Ice Energy, controlled by Greek interests and registered in Liberia, moved alongside the 115,500 dwt Lana on August 11 in the anchorage outside Piraeus, Greece. The United States chartered the Ice Energy and a second tanker in May and began the ship-to-ship transfer after winning a Greek court order to seize the cargo as a sanctions violation. The Ice Energy completed her portion of the transfer and moved to the anchorage in Piraeus in June but the second portion of the transfer never began as Iran disputed the seizure in the Greek courts.
"Lana is sanction....