Iran on May 27 seized two Greek tankers in helicopter-launched operations in the Persian Gulf in what appeared to be a response to Greece assisting the US by grabbing an Iranian oil tanker in the Mediterranean in a sanctions-enforcement case earlier in the week.

The taking of the Greek tankers—the Prudent Warrior and the Delta Poseidon—marked the first such action in several months in the Gulf, but tensions between Iran, the US and allies of Washington are on the rise with the stalling of efforts to secure a reinstatement of the 2015 nuclear deal, or JCPOA.

Greece’s foreign minister complained to the Iranian ambassador to Athens about the “violent taking over of two Greek-flagged ships” by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

“These acts effectively amount to acts of piracy,” a Greek foreign ministry statement said, calling for the immediate return of the ships and their crews.

Tensions between Iran and the West might also have been further aggravated by an “accident” at Iran’s high-security Parchin complex on May 25 that left one engineer dead and another injured. The New York Times reported on May 29 that the so-called accident was an attack using quadcopter suicide drones that fitted a pattern of Israeli operations against Iranian military and nuclear development infrastructure. The facility is reportedly a site where Iran is developing drone technology.

Source » bne