US sanctions against Iranian shipping network come into effect

On 8 June, US sanctions targeting the Iranian shipping network came into effect, six months after they were announced by the Trump administration.

United States Department of State

As Offshore Energy reported in December 2019, the US government designated key Iranian shipping entities including the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) and its Shanghai-based subsidiary, E-Sail Shipping Company Ltd (E-Sail).

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Specifically, the US Treasury Department has published an updated list of more than 120 tankers, containerships, bulk carriers and other vessels — the majority of them flying the Iranian flag — that are linked to IRISL.

“(T)hose in the commercial and maritime industries doing business with Iran must use carriers or shipping methods other than IRISL or E-Sail; any government, entity, or individual that chooses to continue doing business with IRISL and/or E-Sail now risks exposure to U.S. WMD sanctions,” Michael R. Pompeo, US Secretary of State, said in a statement.

As explained, the US posponed the effective date of the designation for 180 days to allow exporters of humanitarian goods to Iran sufficient time to find alternate shipping methods.

IRISL has been accused that it “repeatedly transported” items related to Iran’s ballistic missile and military programs and other proliferation-sensitive items.

“We urge government authorities worldwide to investigate all IRISL and E-Sail activity in your ports and territorial seas and take appropriate action to put a halt to it,” Pompeo added.