Kitack Lim made remarks in a telephone conversation with the Iranian Deputy Minister and Managing Director of Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) Ali Akbar Safaei on Tuesday.
In reaction to Iran’s objection to Greece’s seizure of an Iranian tanker and the US government’s support for the attempts, Kitack Lim said that this issue will be discussed at the upcoming IMO meeting.
He added that it is not the first time that Iranian commercial ships and tankers have been seized directly and indirectly by the US as in the past.
Safaei, for his part, reiterated that the US moves are contrary to the safety and tranquility of the seas, as well as safe shipping, and Iranian tankers and sailors have faced constant threats following the imposition of oppressive US sanctions, so Iran asks the International Maritime Organization to take special attention to this case.
While the Iranian tanker has requested emergency help from the Greek authorities, they have seized the Iranian tanker and emptied its cargo with US support, he highlighted that Iran considers such moves as maritime piracy.
He underlined that such actions undermine not only the IMO but also the maritime transport industry and the safety of international waters.
Although the seizure of the Iranian tanker was a political move, the consequences would undermine IMO’s goals, requirements, and standards globally, Safaei added.
He reiterated that IMO is expected to react appropriately as an international maritime authority to such issues in the world.
Kitack Lim said that members of the World Maritime Organization are aware of Iran’s concerns and objections regarding recent events, and they are against any discrimination and aggression against maritime safety and security.
Stating that maritime transport and shipping should not be affected by the political actions of countries, he stressed the International Maritime Organization is facing restrictions on considering political issues, but such problems must be addressed.
He underscored that to address the problem of illegal seizure of commercial tankers, he will address Iran’s message of protest at the upcoming meeting of the IMO meeting to discuss this issue as a high priority.
Earlier, the Greek government seized an Iranian ship operating under the flag of the Islamic Republic of Iran off the coast of that country and confiscated its cargo by alleged court order and in coordination with the US government.
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