9 Dec 2023
Tuesday 13 November 2018
Story Code : 326568

Iran to sue US for sanctioning its maritime transport

Press TV - Iran says it plans to sue the United States at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for sanctioning its maritime transport services.

Mohammad Rastad, the managing director of the Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran, was quoted by media as saying that a complaint to the same effect would be filed to the IMO in London next week against what he described as cruel US sanctions and restrictions on maritime transport.

Rastad added that Irans complaint would be based on international laws that govern the maritime industry, stressing that Tehran would accordingly publish an official document detailing the points in which Washington would be found guilty of violating those laws.

The administration of US President Donald Trump resumed sanctions on Irans oil, shipping and banking industries last Monday, months after he pulled out of a landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers.

Accordingly, US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook said last week that Iranian vessels would lose access to international insurance markets under the US sanctions and so would be a risk to ports and canals which allowed them access.

From the Suez Canal to the Strait of Malacca and all choke-points in between, Iranian tankers are a floating liability, Hook had said.

Hook also raised the possibility that countries and port operators could face US penalties for facilitating what he called Irans illicit activities if they allowed Iranian ships access to international waterways and port facilities.

This drew an immediate response from Tehran with a top Navy official emphasizing that Irans armed forces would be deployed to protect the countrys oil tankers against possible threat.

Irans armed forces ... are prepared today as in the past to protect our fleet of oil tankers against any threats so that it can continue to use marine waterways, Rear-Admiral Mahmoud Mousavi, a deputy commander of Irans Army, said Monday.

US officials have already said the sanctions would be meant to bring down Irans oil exports to zero. However, Iranian officials have repeatedly rejected the feasibility of this, stressing that international consumers cannot afford to lose Iranian supplies.

Irans First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri said in late October that the government of President Hassan Rouhani had already devised mechanisms to counter the impacts of returning US sanctions against the countrys oil exports.

Jahangiri emphasized that Iran had serious plans to maintain oil exports above one million barrels per day.

Iran exported as much as 2.5 million barrels per day of oil over the past months, he told a local insurance industry conference. There had been a decline of a few thousand barrels per day. But we have always emphasized that Irans exports should not decline below one million barrels per day.
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