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June 10, 2010

New Iran sanctions target shipping and cargoes

The UN Security Council voted yesterday to impose a fourth round of United Nations sanctions against Iran, while demanding that the country suspend its enrichment activities and peacefully resolve outstanding concerns over the nature of its nuclear program.

Restrictions on shipping will play a prominent role in enforcement of the sanctions. They include measures aimed at preventing Iran's national shipping line IRISL from avoiding sanctions by playing a shell game with ship names and front companies. There are also provisions providing for high seas inspection of ships suspected of sanctions busting and prohibiting the bunkering of such vessels.

Annexed to the text containing the fourth round of sanctions imposed on Iran were measures directed against 41 new named entities and individuals, including IRISL, one scientist and enterprises linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard and the defense industry, and banks. The annex lists Irano Hind Shipping Company, IRISL Benelux NV, and South Shipping Line Iran (SSL) as entities controlled by IRISL. That might seem a short list, given IRISL's history of setting up shadow companies to hide the ownership of its vessels, but the resolution covers these subterfuges elsewhere.

It says that measures applying to the "entities of the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL)" shall also apply to any person or entity acting on their behalf or at their direction, and to entities owned or controlled by them, including through illicit means, or determined by the Council or the Committee to have assisted them in evading the sanctions.

Member States are asked to communicate to the Committee any information available on transfers or activity by IRISL to other companies that may have been undertaken in order to evade the sanctions of, or in violation of the provisions of security council resolutions, including renaming or re-registering of vessels or ships. The resolution requests the Committee to make that information widely available;


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