Western sanctions harm safety for ships: Iran says
Western sanctions imposed over the past months against Iran’s shipping industry will seriously affect international maritime and environmental safety, a senior Iranian official said.
Companies are cutting ties with Iran’s vital shipping sector, which transports most of its crude oil, for fear of losing lucrative U.S. business.
Among them have been foreign ship classification societies that had certified safety and environmental standards for Iranian vessels – a requirement for insurance and access to ports.
“During the past months due to direct and indirect measures taken by some governments, unfair and undue restrictions have been imposed against Iran’s commercial shipping industry,” said Ali Akbar Marzban, Iran’s deputy permanent representative at U.N. shipping agency the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
“We strongly believe that these measures undoubtedly would have an adverse impact on regional and international maritime safety, security and pollution prevention and would hamper relevant international co-operation,” he said in a comments made at the IMO in London.
China and other countries in Asia, including South Korea continue to buy Iran’s oil, but the loss of certifiers has raised concerns over the quality of insurance cover and future maintenance of Iranian ships.
Iran is under growing pressure over its nuclear programme, which the West suspects of having a military purpose despite Tehran’s denials.
Last month the China Classification Society became the last of the world’s top 13 companies in the field to confirm it had stopped providing verification services for Iran’s fleet. AGENCIES