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Seized Iranian Supertanker Departs Gibraltar, After US Arrest Warrant Was Rejected


Seized Iranian Supertanker Departs Gibraltar, After US Arrest Warrant Was Rejected

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On August 18th, the Iranian tanker Adrian Darya 1, formerly named Grace 1 departed Gibraltar after 46 days of detainment.

Initially the ship started sailing towards international waters, approximately 9 nautical miles from them it suddenly halted to a stop.

It was unclear why it stopped, but just 30 minutes later it started moving again, having changed course.

On the morning of August 19th, it turned out that the Adrian Darya 1 was heading towards Kalamata, Greece as its destination.

The New York Times on August 15th reported that the Iranian tanker would first sail to Greece and then to Italy.

In a last-ditch effort to stop the Iranian tanker, the US Department of Justice issued a warrant for the seizure of “Grace 1, all petroleum aboard it and $995,000.00.”

“The documents allege a scheme to unlawfully access the U.S. financial system to support illicit shipments to Syria from Iran by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a designated foreign terrorist organization.  The scheme involves multiple parties affiliated with the IRGC and furthered by the deceptive voyages of the Grace 1.  A network of front companies allegedly laundered millions of dollars in support of such shipments.”

Tehran said that the crude oil loaded on the ship wasn’t to be delivered to Syria, but that fell on deaf ears.

The US request for the seizure of the Iranian tanker was rejected on August 18th.

“The Gibraltar Central Authority is unable seek an Order of the Supreme Court of Gibraltar to provide the restraining assistance required by the United States of America.

The Central Authority’s inability to seek the Orders requested is a result of the operation of European Union law and the differences in the sanctions regimes applicable to Iran in the EU and the US.

The EU sanctions regime against Iran – which is applicable in Gibraltar – is much narrower than that applicable in the US,” the Gibraltar government said in a statement.

On August 15th, when the release of the Adrian Darya 1 was officially announced, Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo released a video statement on the matter.

According to the Gibraltar government the timeline of the Grace 1 seizure and release was the following:

  • On July 3rd, the very large crude carrier, Grace 1 was specified under Sanctions Regulations by Picardo. This was a result of receiving information that led the government to believe that the crude oil on board was to be delivered to Syria. Where that information originated from was unmentioned;
  • At 2am on 4th July 2019, the Grace 1 was detained by the Gibraltar law enforcement agencies with the support of the Royal Marines;
  • In this time, investigations have been conducted which have produced evidence confirming that at the time of its detention the Grace 1 was indeed carrying its cargo to the Baniyas refinery in Syria. This was in contravention of Article 14 of the EU Regulation on Sanctions on Syria;
  • The Chief Minister said that the detention of the vessel related exclusively to the implementation of sanctions against Syria;
  • In the following almost 6 weeks, representatives from Gibraltar and Iran met repeatedly, to facilitate the release of Grace 1 pursuant to the satisfaction of all legal requirements;
  • During that time, the owner of the cargo was confirmed to be the National Iranian Oil Company and the vessel has been re-flagged under the flag of Iran itself and re-insured. The ship was initially Panama-flagged;
  • On 13 August, the Chief Minister received written assurance from the Republic of Iran that, if released, the destination of Grace 1 would not be an entity that is subject to European Union sanctions.

Essentially, Gibraltar carried out due process and, despite taking a while, released the ship after receiving sufficient evidence that nothing prohibited would take place.

A UK Foreign Office spokesperson said there was “no comparison or linkage between Iran’s unacceptable and illegal seizure of, and attacks on, commercial shipping vessels in the Strait of Hormuz and the enforcement of EU Syria sanctions by the Government of Gibraltar.”

Hamid Baeidinejad, Iran’s ambassador to the UK said that the tanker’s release was a “miserable defeat” for Washington.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote, “The U.S. attempted to abuse the legal system to steal our property on the high seas. This piracy attempt is indicative of Trump admin’s contempt for the law.”

Zarif, however, did also say that the detention was illegal to begin with.

On the morning of August 19th, Iran warned against “plots” to seize the Adrian Darya 1, specifically by the US.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi told reporters at a press conference that any such move “would endanger shipping safety” and have “grave consequences.”

“We have issued a warning through official channels, especially the Swiss embassy,” he added.

It should be reminded that the UK-flagged Stena Impero, which was seized by Iran on July 19th, for violating international maritime rules, is still detained. Regardless, this appears to be a big diplomatic win for the Iranian side against the US campaign.




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  • Hasbara Hunter



    • You can call me Al

      Who is this Justin…. just above your post ?

      • Hasbara Hunter

        Russia insider…

        • You can call me Al

          Oh ??, OK.

          • Hasbara Hunter


  • AM Hants

    Talking of Iran, there is an interesting article, over on Zero Hedge, with regards Iran playing chess with Trump (and winning) and just how weak Saudi is and what that might mean.

    The Saudis Learn The Term “Asymmetric Response”… https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-08-18/saudis-learn-term-asymmetric-response

    Zero Hedge, based their article around this one, from Moon of Alabama:

    Long Range Attack On Saudi Oil Field Ends War On Yemen… https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/08/long-range-attack-on-saudi-oil-field-ends-war-on-yemen.html

    • Justin

      AM Rants!
      From my perspective the UK did this to hurt talks between the US and Iran!
      It was undone by the USA!
      intelligence war! You need to understand it!

      Side note: Clinton emails hacked by China? (latest news)
      Clinton GAVE military secrets and political leverage to China and was paid to do so! (future news)

      News of Today: Clinton Stored her emails on a google gmail server!
      News of the future: Back channel was setup to transfer HIGHLY CLASSIFIED SECRETS to China and North Korea!

      Why is Eric Schmidt (the former head of google) in North Korea?
      Why did Eric Schmidt resign the day after Trumps executive order on Human tracking?

      Globalists intelligence agencies working for China!
      I wish you people were willing to learn but i think pride stops you!

      Why is GOOGLE in North Korea?
      Why is Clintons emails on a google email server?
      was she hacked? (todays news)
      Did she leak? (tomorrows news)

      i knew this 2 years a go!


      • You can call me Al

        Do not be so disrespectful to AM Rants, who are you, you little Gobshite ?

      • Hasbara Hunter

        Hey listen up…I have a lot of Respect for AM Hants…you better show a little respect in here if you want to keep things nice…

  • Lazy Gamer

    Seems like the US was unprepared or was blindsided by the UK move. And it seems that force in reply to another force is quite effective