Iranian Ship Returns to Greece to Recover US-Seized Oil

Greek court finds in Iran's favor

Seized by the US for transporting oil in violation of sanctions, the Iranian tanker Lana returned to the Greek coast this week, after the Greek court found in Iran’s favor on the question of oil seizure, and ordered the oil returned.

The capture of the ship and oil was done with Greek approval, built around EU sanctions on Russia. Iran complained this amounted to piracy and went after Greece over it.

The Greek courts agreed the seizure was illegal, and the US challenged this ruling, but the Greek Supreme Court agrees. For some reason, the oil will be returned to the very ship it was taken from.

Iran says they will continue to assert their legal rights in the face of sanctions. The US has defended the moves against the ship as enforcement of sanctions.

No one admitted wrongdoing, beyond the Greeks wishing they’d stayed out of this. Its entirely likely more US actions against Iranian ships will happen, leading to more lawsuits.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.