Iran threatens to block 17 Greek-flagged ships in Gulf if oil is not returned, keeps holding ten sailors

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Cypriot and Greek authorities are coordinating to secure the release of a Cypriot and nine Greek sailors that were aboard two Greek flagged tankers seized by commandos of the elite Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Tehran is threatening to block a significant number of other Greek tankers currently in the Persian Gulf, in retaliation for the seizing of one of its own ships outside Evia and sending the crude oil aboard to the United States.

According to the Tasnim semi official news agency, connected with the Revolutionary Guards, Iran has warned that 17 Greek tankers will be seized if the Iranian ship and confiscated crude oil is not returned to Iranian authorities.

Iran has previously targeted tankers at the Hormuz Straits as a response to its crude oil being confiscated, but this is the first time it has gone for foreign flagged ships, causing a deepening crisis, as well as threat of supply disruption.

The two Greek tankers had a capacity to carry almost two million barrels of oil, now in Iranian possession, according to local media.

Revolutionary Guards have forced the ships to anchor near the Iranian shoreline and the crew is under house arrest at a coastal hostel.