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Iran’s Seizure of the Two Greek-flagged Vessels: An International Law Perspective

The Facts On 27 May 2022 the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) announced the seizure of two Greek-flagged oil tankers, which sailed in international waters, 22 nautical miles from the Iranian coast (see here the statement quoted by the Iranian State news agency IRNA). The IRGC helicopters landed onboard the Greek vessels “Delta Poseidon” and “Prudent Warrior” and captured the crew. The ships were then directed to Iranian territorial waters, where they are currently anchored, and the crew was transported on shore, under house arrest. Both the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Hellenic Coast Guard characterised this action as an act of piracy and protested for the seizure of the vessels (see here the official announcement of the Greek MFA and here the announcement of the Coast Guard in Greek). According to other Iranian State news agencies, the two ships were seized in retaliation for Greece’s seizure of an Iranian oil tanker near the coast of the island of Evia due to EU…

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Refusing to Negotiate Can Have Tragic Consequences

Jon Bellish is the Project Development Manager at the One Earth Future foundation and a fellow at the Ved Nanda Center for International & Comparative Law at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. On August 19, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) released a video showing the beheading…

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Greenpeace ‘Pirates’ and the MV Arctic Sunrise

As is now well-known, on 18 September several Greenpeace activists attempted to board Gazprom’s oil platform, the Prirazlomnaya, in the Russian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) bearing ropes and posters. They did do in inflatable craft launched from the Greenpeace vessel the MV Arctic Sunrise. They were soon arrested by the Russian Coast Guard. On 19 September…

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The Possible Unintended Consequences of United States v. Ali

As Professor Guilfoyle notes in his latest post, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, in the case of United States v. Ali, reached the same conclusion that he did on the question of whether territorial facilitation of piracy is subject to universal jurisdiction.  I have a post over a Communis Hostis…

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Piracy on dry land (now with added case law)

It’s nice when a court agrees with you, or comes to the same conclusion at least. In a previous post on US v Ali (here) a spirited debate broke out in the comments as to whether Article 110(c) of UNCLOS on intentionally facilitating piracy was restricted to the high seas or could apply on…

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