The UK’s financial services sector has been banned by the British Government from dealing with the Iranian state-owned Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line (IRISL) because, it is claimed, its ships have been used to transport equipment for the country’s ballistic missile and nuclear programmes.
Financial companies have also been banned from trading with Bank Mellat, one of Iran’s leading banks.
The IRISL is Iran’s national maritime carrier; operating with a worldwide network of subsidiaries, branch offices and agent relationships.
The line operates a fleet of container ships, tankers, bulk carriers and general cargo ships and has more than 50 ships on order for delivery this year and in 2010. Its services connect Iranian exporters and importers with Europe, South America, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.
The British action on the IRISL followed a similar warning by the US Government just a few weeks earlier.
Giving details of the bans on Oct 12, UK Treasury Minister Sarah McCarthy-Fry, the MP for Portsmouth North, said: “Financial and credit institutions will no longer be able to enter into new transactions or business relationships with these entities nor to continue with existing transactions or business relationships unless they are licensed by the Treasury.”
Explaining the reason behind the decision, Miss McCarthy-Fry said: “The Treasury is satisfied that activity in Iran that facilitates the development or production of nuclear weapons poses a significant risk to the national interests of the UK.”
More on this and other news in Sea Breezes Magazine - December 2009 Issue