…from Press TV, Tehran
[ Editor’s Note: What we have here is an example of what can happen when a rush job is put on administrative people to knock something out quickly. I don’t have a source, but suspect that is what happened to make a huge mistake like this.
Normally a proofer would have picked up on the wrong date, but that second check was skipped in a big hurry to get the warrant filed quickly, maybe so quickly that the person typing was rattled, and hence the goof.
We also see a possible reason for Iran’s name change on the ship, looking for any procedural delays that could slow down the US process, like listing the wrong name, but this has not all been sifted out yet.
The story is moving too fast with twists and turns, a bit like a WWI dogfight. At first you have someone on your tail, then you are on theirs, and then back again.
Either way it will be down to the Gibraltar Supreme Court to have the final say; and we are all waiting to hear. Is the US putting the screws to Gibraltar to rule “the right way”? My guess would be yes. Will we learn about that, if so? Maybe… Jim W. Dean ]
– First published … August 07, 2019 –
Amidst all the confusion surrounding the fate of the Iranian oil tanker Adrian Daria (formerly Grace 1), one glaring mistake by the US Department of Justice officials has been missed by the international media.
The Justice Department’s warrant, which can be found at (https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/1196366/download), gets the date wrong. Instead of filing August 16, it files the date of the warrant as November 16.
Whilst the full legal consequences of this mistake are not altogether clear, at minimum the current date on the warrant would suggest that the US authorities cannot execute any warrant or searches on the Adrian Daria, at least, not until November 16.
Based on the warrant in its current form, any interference with the Adrian Daria would contravene the US’s own laws, let alone international law as enshrined in the Law of the Sea.
A timeline of Grace 1’s seizure and detention
[ Editor’s Note 2 : Here is a Press TV recap article of the Grace 1 timeline, a convenient review, as it has been a confusing story to follow… Jim W. Dean ]
Britain’s seizure of a supertanker carrying Iranian crude oil has proven to be a legal, diplomatic and political defeat for London. This is evident in Britain’s retreat following the Gibraltar “Supreme Court’s” decision to order the release of the tanker.
But how did Britain get entangled in this messy affair in the first place? Here is a brief story of Grace 1, and the embarrassment it caused to the British establishment.
On July 4th, British Royal Marines boarded the, formerly, Panamanian-flagged Grace 1 and seized it in an aggressive, military-style, operation.
Some days later, the captain of Grace 1 said the Royal Marines had used “brute force” in the operation. According to the captain, the Royal Marines had forced his unarmed crew to “kneel on the deck” at gunpoint.
Britain tried to justify the seizure of Grace 1 on the grounds of enforcing European Union (EU) sanctions on the sale of oil to Syria. But the British legal position was undermined from the outset by the EU’s silence, and indeed refusal, to endorse the seizure.
On July 13th, Britain offered to return the detained supertanker if Iran provided guarantees that the crude oil would not be shipped to Syria. Iran’s position from the outset was that the seizure was unlawful and the UK had no right to interfere with the tanker, regardless of its destination.
On July 19th, Gibraltar’s Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, reportedly met Iranian officials in London as part of a broader “de-escalation” effort relating to the seizure and continuing detention of Grace 1.
On July 24, Dominic Raab replaced Jeremy Hunt as Britain’s Foreign Secretary, following Boris Johnson’s ascension to the premiership.
In his first major statement on the Grace 1 on July 29th, Raab discussed the issue in the context of Iran’s seizure of the British tanker, Stena Impero, in the Strait of Hormuz.
But Iran’s position on the matter was clear. Stena Impero had been detained for committing offences related to the Law of the Sea. By contrast, Grace 1 had been unlawfully detained on dubious grounds.
Following Raab’s intervention, Iran’s ambassador to the UK, Hamid Baeidinejad, explicitly ruled out an exchange of tankers.
On August 15th, in a dramatic climb down, the Gibraltar “Supreme Court” ruled that the supertanker, now renamed “Adrian Daria”, is free to sail.
What made this announcement even more dramatic was that just a few hours earlier the US Justice Department had tried to block the release as part of a last ditch attempt to illegally seize Adrian Daria.
Gibraltar officials said the “last-minute appeal” from the US Justice Department was not considered an “official” request before the Supreme Court. In other words, they chose to ignore the US request.
On August 16th, following its humiliation by Gibraltar and Britian, the US issued a warrant for the seizure of Adrian Daria.
This dramatic move by the US authorities confirmed what the Spanish Foreign Minister, Josep Borrell, had said at the very outset: namely that the Royal Marines’ seizure of the supertanker had been prompted by a US “request”.