Iran Shipping and Oil Industry (IRISL & NIOC)

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UNSC 1929 (2010) concerning IRISL Owned & Controlled Vessels and Iran Vessels

On June 9, 2010, the UN Security Council (UNSC) imposed a sanctions resolution against Iran over allegations that Tehran's nuclear program is military in nature.

18. Decides that all States shall prohibit the provision by their nationals or from their territory of bunkering services, such as provision of fuel or supplies, or other servicing of vessels, to Iranian-owned or -contracted vessels, including chartered vessels, if they have information that provides reasonable grounds to believe they are carrying items the supply, sale, transfer, or export of which isprohibited by paragraphs 3, 4 or 7 of resolution 1737 (2006), paragraph 5 of resolution 1747 (2007), paragraph 8 of resolution 1803 (2008) or paragraphs 8 or 9 of this resolution, unless provision of such services is necessary for humanitarian purposes or until such time as the cargo has been inspected, and seized and disposed of if necessary, and underlines that this paragraph is not intended to affect legal economic activities;

19. Decides that the measures specified in paragraphs 12, 13, 14 and 15 of resolution 1737 (2006) shall also apply to the entities of the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) as specified in Annex III and 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 of, or in violating the provisions of, resolutions 1737 (2006), 1747 (2007), 1803 (2008) or this resolution;

20. Requests all Member States to communicate to the Committee any information available on transfers or activity by Iran Air’s cargo division or vessels owned or operated by the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) to other companies that may have been undertaken in order to evade the sanctions of, or in violation of the provisions of, resolutions 1737 (2006), 1747 (2007), 1803 (2008) or this resolution, including renaming or re-registering of aircraft, vessels or ships, and requests the Committee to make that information widely available;

21. Calls upon all States, in addition to implementing their obligations pursuant to resolutions 1737 (2006), 1747 (2007), 1803 (2008) and this resolution, to prevent the provision of financial services, including insurance or re-insurance, or the transfer to, through, or from their territory, or to or by their nationals or entities organized under their laws (including branches abroad), or persons or financial institutions in their territory, of any financial or other assets or resources if they have information that provides reasonable grounds to believe that such services, assets or resources could contribute to Iran’s proliferation-sensitive nuclear activities, or the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems, including by freezing any financial or other assets or resources on their territories or that hereafter come within their territories, or that are subject to their jurisdiction or that hereafter become subject to their jurisdiction, that are related to such programmes or activities and applying enhanced monitoring to prevent all such transactions in accordance with their national authorities and legislation;

22. Decides that all States shall require their nationals, persons subject to their jurisdiction and firms incorporated in their territory or subject to their jurisdiction to exercise vigilance when doing business with entities incorporated in Iran or subject to Iran’s jurisdiction, including those of the IRGC and IRISL, and any individuals or entities acting on their behalf or at their direction, and entities owned or controlled by them, including through illicit means, if they have information that provides reasonable grounds to believe that such business could contribute to Iran’s proliferation-sensitive nuclear activities or the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems or to violations of resolutions 1737 (2006), 1747 (2007), 1803 (2008) or this resolution;

23. Calls upon States to take appropriate measures that prohibit in their territories the opening of new branches, subsidiaries, or representative offices of Iranian banks, and also that prohibit Iranian banks from establishing new joint ventures, taking an ownership interest in or establishing or maintaining correspondent relationships with banks in their jurisdiction to prevent the provision of financial services if they have information that provides reasonable grounds to believe that these activities could contribute to Iran’s proliferation-sensitive nuclear activities or the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems;

24. Calls upon States to take appropriate measures that prohibit financial institutions within their territories or under their jurisdiction from opening representative offices or subsidiaries or banking accounts in Iran if they have information that provides reasonable grounds to believe that such financial services could contribute to Iran’s proliferation-sensitive nuclear activities or the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems;

IRISL & NIOC

The information on this page was collected from open source and is based on best effort.

IRISL is the maritime fleet of the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines

The US, EU and UK has banned IRISL. The IRISL group comprises over a hunderd ocean-going vessels. The ownership and management of the vessels is a complex structure. Many IRISL types of ships are under the flag of subsidiaries, including Khazar Shipping, Valfajr as well as Iran-India Shipping Companies.

Note Iran Plays the Name Game, for more information ExportLawBlog Concerning The Iran Name Game


Tehran's Merchant Fleet Sails Close to Wind by MEHRAFARIN BAHRAMI in Tehran (19 Mar 2011 17:43)

Staff at state shipping agency admit to changing ships' names, owners, and even paintwork to evade sanctions.

The tall building occupied by Iran's shipping agency looks a lot different from other government offices in Tehran. Instead of ideological symbols, the dominant theme here is nautical -- anchors, lanterns, and sails. The staff, too, look different. There are more smart suits, ironed collars, and well-shaven faces around.

The general air of tidiness reflects the seriousness with which Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, IRISL, goes about its business. With a commercial fleet of 169 ships carrying nearly a third of Iranian exports and imports, the firm is the dominant player in Iran by a long stretch, although there are a number of private shipping companies as well.

Staff at IRISL see themselves as waging a full-scale, if hidden, international war to circumvent international sanctions and keep the freight moving.

In 2008, the U.S. Treasury Department placed IRISL on its sanctions list on the grounds that its vessels were carrying military freight. Then it was barred from taking out insurance and loans in London, and finally, last year, the United Nations Security Council approved a new set of sanctions which included the right to inspect, confiscate and, where necessary, destroy the freight.

The U.N. resolution provoked a strong reaction from Tehran, where parliament instructed the government to mete out equal treatment to ships belonging to states that inspect Iranian vessels, and to provide naval protection to commercial shipping where necessary.


If you are looking for up-to-date vessel information and more information, please look at Vesseltracker or Equasis (note: both are more or less open source databases)

IRISL and all subsidiaries designated by OFAC and/or EU

August 08, 2012 - The shipping ministry of India has told private company Great Eastern Shipping Co (Gesco)(GESC.NS) to supply tankers to import Iranian oil for state-run refiner MRPL, which had to slash imports from Iran in July because the shipper was unwilling to carry them. Source: Reuters News Item


July 25, 2012 - Indian-Iranian shipping company to close due to sanctions against Iran

A shipping company backed by the governments of India and Iran says it will close because of anti-Iran sanctions. The Shipping Corp. of India, which holds a 49 percent stake in the Irano Hind Shipping Co., says sanctions have made it too difficult to deploy its vessels. Shipping Corp. managing director S. Hajara says Irano Hind will cease operation and its fleet will be split between his company and the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, which holds the remaining stake.

Source: FoxNews News Item


July 12, 2012 - U.S. zeroes in on Iran's major oil company, exposes fronts

The United States identified the National Iranian Tanker Company as a government-controlled entity and exposed dozens of Iranian front companies, ships and banks for helping Tehran evade Western sanctions aimed at stopping Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

The U.S. Treasury identified 58 National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) vessels and 27 of its affiliates and said this would help countries and companies comply with Western penalties against Iran and undermine Iran's attempts to use renamed vessels to evade sanctions.

"We will continue to ratchet up the pressure so long as Iran refuses to address the international community's well-founded concerns about its nuclear program," Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence David Cohen said in a statement.

The United States mounted an international campaign aimed at depriving Iran of revenue to pressure it to agree to rein in its nuclear program, which Tehran maintains is solely for peaceful purposes. The U.S. Treasury also identified Malaysian-based Noor Energy, Petro Suisse, Dubai-based Petro Energy and Hong Kong Intertrade as being controlled or acting on behalf of the Iranian government. The Treasury said they were acting as front companies for the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and other blacklisted Iranian entities.

The European Union banned Iranian oil imports as well as providing insurance for vessels carrying Iranian oil from July 1. The U.S. sanctions have limited Iran's major trading partners from buying Iranian crude. Lawmakers said Treasury's action was a move in the right direction but said much more had to be done. "We must continue to increase pressure on the Iranian regime until it verifiably abandons its nuclear weapons program," said Howard Berman, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, who has been asking Tuvalu and Tanzania to stop reflagging Iranian oil tankers.

The National Iranian Tanker Company changed the names and flags of many of its vessels ahead of the EU ban.

Source: Reuters


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