UANI Calls on UK NAVALMAR to Cease Port Calls in Iran

By MarEx 2013-03-06 09:08:00

On Monday, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) called on shipping firm NAVALMAR UK LTD (NAVALMAR) to immediately stop making port calls in Iran.

UANI is specifically raising its concerns with the activities of NAVALMAR's vessel, the BSLE VENUS, which UANI believes is visiting Iranian ports and interacting with port authorities closely affiliated with Tidewater Middle East Co., a U.S. and EU sanctioned entity.

In a letter sent to NAVALMAR General Director Roy Terence Ware, UANI CEO, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, wrote:

... I am again writing on behalf of United Against Nuclear Iran ("UANI") to express our concerns about the apparent calling of NAVALMAR UK LTD's (NAVALMAR) vessel BSLE VENUS at Iranian ports operated by entities sanctioned under recent European and U.S. legislation. Specifically, we would like to express our concerns about the apparently ongoing interaction between your vessel BSLE VENUS and port authorities closely affiliated with Tidewater Middle East Co., a U.S. and EU sanctioned Iranian entity.

The general cargo vessel BSLE VENUS, of which NAVALMAR is the registered owner, appears to have visited ports reportedly operated by Tidewater Middle East Co. Tidewater Middle East Co was sanctioned by the EU and U.S. due to its connection to the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps ("IRGC"). The IRGC itself is sanctioned by the EU and is designated as an entity of proliferation concern by the U.S. Thus by continuing its interaction with this Iranian port management authority, NAVALMAR could be in danger of inadvertently violating EU sanctions. Any payments to Tidewater Middle East Co are prohibited under the aforementioned sanctions. UANI encourages NAVALMAR to consider abandoning its alleged interaction with sanctioned Iranian entities in order to avoid any further reputational damage derived from its ostensible commercial activities there. ...

UANI has highlighted the shipping industry as an area where the international community can further pressure Iran. In a 2012 Wall Street Journal Op-Ed, six UANI board members wrote that "the world must deny Iran's access to international shipping, a move that would severely affect the regime given its dependence on global trade and seaborne crude oil exports."

Last year, all thirteen of the world's major classification societies stopped certifying Iranian vessels following UANI's campaign, including Bureau Veritas, Germanischer Lloyd, the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping, Korean Register of Shipping, China Classification Society, and ClassNK. UANI has also announced that Barbados, Hong Kong, Moldova and Mongolia have stopped their reflagging of Iranian vessels.

UANI has requested a reply from NAVALMAR by March 11, 2013.

Click here to read UANI's full letter to NAVALMAR.