US sanctions 24 shipping companies over Iran trade

The US Treasury Friday slapped sanctions on 24 shipping companies, including 20 in Hong Kong, for allegedly operating as fronts for Iranian businesses involved in Tehran`s missile programmes.

Updated: Jan 14, 2011, 14:47 PM IST

Washington: The US Treasury Friday slapped
sanctions on 24 shipping companies, including 20 in Hong Kong, for allegedly operating as fronts for Iranian businesses involved in Tehran`s missile programmes.

The Treasury said the shipping firms were affiliated
with the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) and
two units tied to the Iranian defence ministry`s Aerospace
Industries Organisation (AIO), both of which are under
international sanctions for their roles in Iran`s weapons
programme.
The Treasury`s move, aimed at putting pressure on
Iran`s alleged nuclear weapons programme, will cut off the
designated firms from the US financial and commercial systems.

"IRISL is under tremendous financial pressure from
international sanctions, and it is going to extreme lengths to
obscure its network and the ownership of vessels," the
Treasury`s sanctions czar Stuart Levey said in a statement.
"Today`s designations expose the latest in a string of
deceptive measures Iran is taking to continue its illicit
conduct."

PTI