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Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL)

Merchant marine may be defined as all ships engaged in the carriage of goods; or all commercial vessels (as opposed to all nonmilitary ships), which excludes tugs, fishing vessels, offshore oil rigs, etc. As of 2010 [the most recent CIA data] Iran had a total of 76 ships of 1,000 GRT or over. GRT or gross register tonnage is a figure obtained by measuring the entire sheltered volume of a ship available for cargo and passengers and converting it to tons on the basis of 100 cubic feet per ton. Ships by type included: bulk carrier 8, cargo 51, chemical tanker 3, container 4, liquefied gas 1, passenger/cargo 3, petroleum tanker 2, refrigerated cargo 2, roll on/roll off 2. There were 2 foreign-owned (UAE) ships, that fly the flag of one country but belong to owners in another. There were [as of 2010] a total of 71 registered in other countries (Barbados 5, Cyprus 10, Hong Kong 3, Malta 48, Panama 5). Thse are ships that belong to owners in one country but fly the flag of another.

The Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) was established in 1979 and its marine transportation activities began the next year using two small ships with with capacities of 1,000 and 1,550 tonnes Dwt ocean-going ships in the Persian Gulf and four Dwt with a total capacity of began 40,338 tonnes. IRISL Group Holding currently has vessels shipping worldwide and having a secure network and provide a variety of transportation services. The group has a strong and diverse fleet of ocean-going ships and vessels of all types of services with the capacity needs of the market, in all international routes is working. IRISL now the most important ports for shipping to the world of modern transportation and various services, such as services, Door to Door, a significant portion of its capacity to the movement of goods in international routes, (Cross-Trading) allocated.

Other activities include the repair of the holding container ships - bulk and tanker trailer as well as small vessels, including pesticides, Landing Craft, dredging vessels, the provision of fuel, cargo and passengers in the Persian Gulf, the Caspian Sea freight shipments, Offshore software systems are designed.

Also IRISL group have experienced teachers with modern training equipment for all courses and graduate courses in introductory marine deck and engine, and thus the group held a highly important role culture and the development maritime industry in the country is responsible. These specialized activities outsourced to specialized companies and service companies in the shortest time and most convenient way possible, including all aspects of transportation management and operations, and sea of ships, Chartryng, and the is broker. The move towards a more flexible, agile organization and build a broader mandate has been made.

On 10 September 2008, the Department of the Treasury designated under Executive Order 13382 the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) and eighteen IRISL subsidiaries of proliferation concern. IRISL and its subsidiaries are being designated for facilitating shipments of military cargo destined for the Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL) and its subordinate entities, including organizations that have been designated by the United Nations Security Council in Resolutions 1737 and 1747. MODAFL was designated by the U.S. Department of State in October 2007 under E.O. 13382 and has brokered a number of transactions involving materials and technologies with ballistic missile applications.

These designations serve to implement United Nations Security Council Resolution 1803 of March 2008, which calls upon all states, in accordance with their national legal authorities and international law, to inspect IRISL cargoes to or from Iran, "provided there are reasonable grounds to believe that thevesselis transporting goods prohibited" under UNSCRs 1737, 1747 or 1803. MODAFL has authority over the AIO, the arm of the Iranian military that oversees Iran's ballistic missile program, and has used IRISL to conceal the true destination of shipments of military-related goods destined for MODAFL. The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced 16 June 2010 a set of designations targeting Iran's nuclear and missile programs the first set of measures from the United States implementing UNSCR 1929 and building upon the actions mandated by the Security Council. Treasury took further action against the network of Iran's national maritime carrier, IRISL, by designating five front companies aiding IRISL in evading sanctions, identified 27 new vessels as blocked property due to their connection to IRISL, and updating the entries for 71 already-blocked IRISL vessels to identify new names given to them in order to evade sanctions.

Since being designated, IRISL increasingly relied upon a series of front companies and has engaged in deceptive behavior such as falsifying shipping documents and renaming ships to assist it in overcoming the impact of sanctions and increased scrutiny of its behavior. IRISL has also been involved in Iranian attempts to transfer arms-related material. Iran is prohibited from exporting arms and related material by UNSCR 1747.

IRISL established the front company, Hafiz Darya Shipping Company (HDS Lines) , in 2009, to conduct its containerized shipping operations under the HDS Lines brand name. HDS has retained some IRISL officers as corporate members. In late 2009, HDS Lines assumed IRISL's containerized shipping operations and established shipping routes nearly identical to those formerly operated by IRISL. Similarly, IRISL created Soroush Sarzamin Asatir Ship Management Company, also designated in June 2010, which assumed IRISL's ship management functions in the wake of sanctions against IRISL. Like HDS Lines, it also shared corporate officers with IRISL.

Safiran Payam Darya (SAPID) Shipping Co., also designated in June 2010, was created by IRISL in April 2009 to take control of several ships previously directly owned by IRISL and to handle IRISL's former bulk and general cargo operations. SAPID's directors and/or shareholders are five members of IRISL's Board of Directors: Mohammad Hossein Dajmar, IRISL's Managing Director; Gholamhossein Golpavar, IRISL's Commercial Director; Mohammad Mehdi Rasekh; Masoud Nik Nafs; and Mohammad Sadegh Mofateh. Dajmar serves as SAPID's Chairman, and Nik Nafs serves as its Vice-Chairman. Golparvar serves as SAPID's Managing Director, while Rasekh and Mofateh serve as SAPID directors. Two Hong Kong-based companies affiliated with IRISL, Seibow Limitedand Seibow Logistics were also designated.

The June 2010 designations of IRISL front companies and identification of new and renamed IRISL-affiliated vessels also reinforce UNSCR 1803 , which among other things, calls upon all States to inspect, in accordance with their national legal authorities and consistent with international law, cargoes to and from Iran, aircraft and vessels, at their seaports and airports, including their ports, owned or operated by IRISL, "provided there is reasonable grounds to believe that the vessel is transporting goods prohibited" under UNSCRs 1737, 1747, and 1803.

On October 27, 2011 the U.S. Department of the Treasury designated the following shipping companies pursuant to Executive Order 13382 for being owned or controlled by the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), Hafiz Darya Shipping Company (HDS Lines), and/or Soroush Sarzamin Asatir Ship Management Company (SSA):

  • Galliot Maritime Inc.;
  • Indus Maritime Inc.;
  • Kaveri Maritime Inc.;
  • Melodious Maritime Inc.;
  • Mount Everest Maritime Inc.; and
  • Rishi Maritime Inc.

Also, Treasury amended the entry on the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN) List for SSA to include the companys new alias, Rahbaran Omid Darya Ship Management Company; identified a new vessel as blocked property of IRISL; and updated 14 other already identified IRISL vessels with new names and/or flag information.

International sanctions, and IRISLs efforts to evade them through deceptive practices, have led to increased vigilance by the maritime industry and prompted an increasing number of countries to revoke or refuse to issue a flag to vessels in which IRISL or its affiliates have an interest (IRISL vessels). On June 25, 2012, Sierra Leone took action to revoke its flag for the Irano-Hind vessel AMIN.

As more jurisdictions refuse to flag IRISL vessels, it is increasingly likely that persons will encounter IRISL vessels that are not properly flagged. Therefore, maritime authorities should be alert to the presentation by IRISL of potentially fabricated vessel registration and flag credentials at ports of call and canal entrances. We urge state port control and canal authorities to thoroughly scrutinize the certificates of registry of IRISL vessels, to ensure that such documentation is not expired or fraudulent and, if they are found lacking, to take action appropriate and consistent with domestic and international law.

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