Monday, November 12, 2012

UANI Applauds Hong Kong for Ending Its Reflagging of Iranian Vessels


November 12, 2012
Contact: Nathan Carleton, 
Phone: (212) 554-3296
UANI Applauds Hong Kong for Ending Its Reflagging of Iranian Vessels
Decision Comes Following UANI Campaign and Discussions with UANI

New York, NY - On Monday, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) applauded Hong Kong for ending its reflagging of Iranian vessels.

In an October 30 letter to Leung Chun-ying, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, UANI called on Hong Kong to end its "business with the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) and reflagging of IRISL vessels."

"As you should know," UANI CEO, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, wrote, "Hong Kong hosts a number of sanctioned IRISL front companies and is currently reflagging as many as 19 vessels owned, managed, or operated by IRISL."

In response, Hong Kong's Marine Department (HKMD) informed UANI that it has now "taken action already in notifying the owners of these 19 ships for the closure of the registration in Hong Kong within 90 days beginning from the date of the notice being served in pursuant to the Hong Kong Merchant Shipping (Registration) Ordinance, Chapter 415."

Significantly, HKMD cited UANI's September 28, 2012 announcement that the Korean Register of Shipping (KR) would no longer certify Iranian vessels. Beginning in June 2012, UANI led the campaign to compel KR to end its Iran-related activities (see here, here, here).

Said HKMD: "Given KR has effectively ceased to provide services or support to the company for managing Hong Kong ships, HKMD does have concern about the safety and the quality of these ships."

Said Ambassador Wallace today:

We applaud Hong Kong for ending its reflagging of Iranian vessels. It is increasingly becoming more difficult for Iran to make international shipments, and the regime is now feeling the pressure.

No country should be reflagging Iranian vessels, just as no company should be insuring or certifying Iranian vessels, given the risks and the stakes involved. Hong Kong's explanation for its decision shows the domino effect that has come from our shipping campaign: each time a shipping avenue for Iran is closed, others decide to follow suit.

We call on the international community to impose a complete shipping blockade on the Iranian regime.

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."

In addition to KR, the prominent shipping services Bureau Veritas, Germanischer Lloyd, the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping, and ClassNK have also stopped certifying Iranian vessels in response to UANI. Moldova and Mongolia have also recently ended their reflagging of Iranian vessels.

Click here to read UANI's letter to Hong Kong.
Click here to learn more about UANI's Shipping Campaign.

United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) is a program of the American Coalition Against Nuclear Iran, Inc., a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

The prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran should concern every American and be unacceptable to the community of nations. Since 1979 the Iranian regime, most recently under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's leadership, has demonstrated increasingly threatening behavior and rhetoric toward the US and the West. Iran continues to defy the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the United Nations in their attempts to monitor its nuclear activities. A number of Arab states have warned that Iran's development of nuclear weapons poses a threat to Middle East stability and could provoke a regional nuclear arms race. In short, the prospect of a nuclear armed Iran is a danger to world peace.

United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) is a non-partisan, broad-based coalition that is united in a commitment to prevent Iran from fulfilling its ambition to become a regional super-power possessing nuclear weapons.  UANI is an issue-based coalition in which each coalition member will have its own interests as well as the collective goal of advancing an Iran free of nuclear weapons.

The Objectives of United Against a Nuclear Iran
  1. Inform the public about the nature of the Iranian regime, including its desire and intent to possess nuclear weapons, as well as Iran's role as a state sponsor of global terrorism, and a major violator of human rights at home and abroad;
  2. Heighten awareness nationally and internationally about the danger that a nuclear armed Iran poses to the region and the world;
  3. Mobilize public support, utilize media outreach, and persuade our elected leaders to voice a robust and united American opposition to a nuclear Iran;
  4. Lay the groundwork for effective US policies in coordination with European and other allies;
  5. Persuade the regime in Tehran to desist from its quest for nuclear weapons, while striving not to punish the Iranian people, and;
  6. Promote efforts that focus on vigorous national and international, social, economic, political and diplomatic measures.
UANI is led by an advisory board of outstanding national figures representing all sectors of our country.

American Coalition Against Nuclear Iran | 45 Rockefeller Plaza | New York | NY | 10111

No comments:

Post a Comment