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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Iran renaming ships to avoid sanctions

When a ship carries the flag of one country, is owned by nationals of another country and is chartered by nationals of a third country to carry cargo from a fourth country to a fifth country, whose ship is it? That's typically how seaborne shipping works, and Iran is taking advantage of that fact to try to evade Western sanctions.
According to the report, the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line (IRISL) has renamed a total of 90 out of its 123 ships since 2008. The company also reflagged a significant percentage of its fleet, which dropped off the list of the top 100 fleets in the world last April. It previously was ranked as the 23rdlargest container line in the world.


“The Iranian ships are being shuffled like a deck of cards in a Las Vegas casino,” explained Hugh Griffiths, one of the authors of the report and an arms trafficking expert at SIPRI.

“There is a constant game of cat and mouse being played and the renaming and reflagging of vessels of different states is a way of trying to avoid inspection because of sanctions.”

The report, Griffiths said, was the culmination of two years of work by SIPRI during which it created the Vessel and Maritime Incident Database, which contains information on countries and shipping lines suspected of illicit activity.

According to the SIPRI report, in October 2010 Germany removed ships suspected of being owned by IRISL from its shipping registry after the European Union imposed sanctions on the state-owned shipping company.

The report claims, however, that despite the sanctions, other EU member states, including Cyprus and Malta, continue to have Iranian ships on their registries.
This is going to make sanctions less effective, and less likely to work, increasing the probability of war.

What could go wrong?

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At 10:28 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hmmmm.....You think there's one floating around named "The Audacity Of Hope"?:)


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