Trump Reimposing Sanctions on Iran’s Shipping and Shipbuilding

The U.S. Government plans to reimpose sanctions on Iran’s port operators, and shipping and shipbuilding sectors, in line with the decision of the country’s president Donald Trump to withdraw from the Iran Nuclear Deal.

Trump said on Tuesday, May 8, that the United States will pull back from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and begin reimposing U.S. nuclear-related sanctions on the Iranian regime.

“Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is taking immediate action to implement the president’s decision. Sanctions will be reimposed subject to certain 90-day and 180-day wind-down periods,” the U.S. Treasury Office said.

The White House warned that those who fail to wind down activities with Iran by the end of the period “will risk severe consequences.”

The decision was hinted in October last year when Trump chose not to recertify the JCPOA claiming Iran violated the deal on multiple occasions.

“The Iran Deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into,” Trump said.

“The JCPOA enriched the Iranian regime and enabled its malign behavior, while at best delaying its ability to pursue nuclear weapons and allowing it to preserve nuclear research and development,” the White House claims.

The White House ascribed the decision to intelligence obtained from Israel, which among other things, indicates that “the Iranian regime has  funded a military buildup and continues to fund its terrorist proxies, such as Hizballah and Hamas.”

Iranian companies that are facing the new wave of sanctions following the 180-day wind-down period ending on November 4, 2018 are the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), South Shipping Line Iran, or their affiliates.

Sanctions will also be imposed on petroleum-related transactions with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), Naftiran Intertrade Company (NICO), and National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC), including the purchase of petroleum, petroleum products, or petrochemical products from Iran, the Treasury Office informed.

Iranian energy and financial sectors are also being targeted by the sanctions.

Other JCPOA signatories, France, the UK, the European Union, Russia and China, have opposed the decision vehemently. This is in particular due to the fact that numerous western companies returned to the Iranian market, renewing severed trading ties.

Following sanctions’ lifting in 2015, Europan shipping majors and port officials rushed to Tehran to ink new and renew old cooperation deals.

Aside to increased activity in the carriage of oil, container lines reestablished or augmented their services in Iran, while Korean yards booked orders from Iranian owners set on renewing their outdated fleets.

“As we have always said, the nuclear deal is not a bilateral agreement and it is not in the hands of any single country to terminate it unilaterally,” Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said commenting on U.S. decision.

” Should the US reconsider this position, we would welcome it.”

Mogherini added that as long as Iran continues to implement its nuclear-related commitments, the European Union will remain committed to ” the continued full and effective implementation of the nuclear deal.”

“We fully trust the work, competence and autonomy of the International Atomic Energy Agency that has published 10 reports certifying that Iran has fully complied with its commitments,” she added.

World Maritime News Staff