United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) on Tuesday applauded Denmark's Maersk, the world's largest shipping container company, for ending port calls to Iran.
Since July 2010, UANI has been pressuring Maersk to end its business in Iran. As part of its campaign UANI ran advertisements and organized protests outside of Maersk facilities.
Said UANI CEO, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace:
Following its interim business decision to suspend its work in Iran, Maersk has finally made the right decision, and fully ceased its shipping there. As a result, Iran will now be even more isolated from the rest of the world, as the world's largest shipping company has declared it closed for business.
Iran's shipping industry is in free-fall as insurers, classification societies, and shipping companies cease their business with Iran as the regime continues to defy the international community's diplomatic efforts to end its illicit nuclear program. The few shipping companies that continue doing business in Iran are complicit in the regime's unlawful actions and should pull out immediately.
As part of its Maersk campaign, UANI ran a billboard outside of Maersk's Virginia headquarters, which was covered by Hampton Roads WAVY-TV 10, and held a protest against Maersk at the Maryland Port Authority.
In June of 2011, Maersk suspended shipments to those Iranian ports managed by the sanctioned Tidewater Middle East Co. UANI called on Maersk to go further and fully end its business with Iran, particularly given the multi-billion dollar contracts Maersk receives from the U.S. Defense Department.
UANI has highlighted the shipping industry as an area where the international community can further pressure Iran. In a March 17 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."
The prominent shipping services Bureau Veritas, Germanischer Lloyd, the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping, the Korean Register of Shipping, and ClassNK all recently stopped certifying Iranian vessels in response to UANI.