Aug 19, 2019, 11:10 AM
Journalist ID: 2078
News Code: 83443019
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In a rush to seize Grace 1, Washington makes gaffes in US court

Tehran, August 19, IRNA-The US haste in issuing a warrant to seize the tanker carrying Iranian oil while the ship was about to leave Gibraltar let to two major gaffes in the District of Colombia court ruling.

Media reports say the District of Colombia court in the US, which issued the warrant to detain the Iranian tanker, Adrian Darya, and its oil cargo made two mistakes with regard to the ship's seizure date in Gibraltar as well as its name.  

The Justice Department warrant claimed that the complaint against the ship was filed on November 16, instead of August, 2019. Notably, the stamp confirming the receipt of the warrant showed the correct date.

The document also used the ship's old name, Grace 1, instead of its new one, which was adopted soon after its release from detention in Gibraltar, Adrian Darya, according to the deputy head of Iran's Ports and Maritime Organization, Jalil Eslami.

The American court issued the warrant soon after a previous failed attempt to seize the supertanker in Gibraltar, where it was held for over a month. According to the document, the vessel, along with all of its 2.1 million barrel oil cargo and $995,000 are subject to forfeiture based on alleged violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), bank fraud, money laundering, and supporting terrorism.

British authorities detained Grace 1 on July 4 in Gibraltar following a tip from the US, which claimed that the tanker had been suspected of carrying crude to Syria in violation of the European Union’s unilateral sanctions against the Arab country. Tehran vehemently denied the claims.

The tanker's detention sent relations between London and Tehran into a downward spiral, with the Islamic Republic denouncing the detention as "maritime piracy" and pledging to respond in kind. Two weeks later, Iran detained British tanker, Stena Impero, upon a call by the Ports and Maritime Organization since the ship's transponder was turned off and it risked an accident with other vessels.

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