Maersk Suspends Oil Tanker Trade Deals with Iran After EU Sanctions
Shipping and oil company, A.P. Moller-Maersk, has suspended new oil tanker deals with Iran because of the European Union sanctions which will embargo imports of oil from the Islamic Republic into the bloc, according to Maersk representatives.
Other international shipping companies are becoming cautious of the growing sanctions and complications now involved in trading with Iran. Maersk has suspended all new fixtures involving Iran and products with Iranian origin as well. This came into effect as of January 24, 2012.
As previously reported, the EU banned imports of oil from Iran; European oil companies are forced to end all Iran crude dealings by July of this year. The EU also agreed to freeze the assets of Iran's central bank and ban trade in gold and other precious metals with the bank and state bodies. These sanctions will greatly affect trading patterns in regards to the import, purchase, and transport of Iranian oil for numerous companies.
On the other hand, Maersk representatives claim that its tanker unit made only 14 Iran related voyages in 2011, which represents a very small portion of their activity. Frontline, the world’s largest independent tanker operator, also said it did not have any dealings with Iran.
Currently, Iran is under increasing trade pressure over its unclear nuclear program and is facing further sanctions by the West. New U.S. financial sanctions imposed since the beginning of this year are playing with Iran's ability to buy imports and receive payment for its oil exports.