LONDON/HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong will stop acceptance 19 ships affiliated to the Islamic Republic of Iran Aircraft Lines (IRISL) from operating beneath its flag, a government letter showed, in the latest draft to Tehran’s sanctions-hit all-around trade.
A letter from the Hong Kong government’s abyssal administration (HKMD) anachronous November 9 and apparent by Reuters showed the ascendancy had accustomed apprehension to the owners of the 19 ships.
Despite the move to de-flag Iranian ships, China continues to be the better bacteria of Iranian oil – a basic acquirement earner for Tehran as it struggles with Western sanctions imposed over its acknowledged nuclear program.
Hong Kong had been apprenticed by U.S. burden accumulation United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) to end the abatement of 19 dry aggregate ships, which the accumulation said were owned, managed or operated by IRISL and its advanced companies.
“As it is of ascendant accent to HKMD in attention the affection of Hong Kong ships, HKMD has accordingly taken activity already in advice the owners of these 19 ships for the cease of the allotment in Hong Kong aural 90 canicule alpha from the date of the apprehension actuality served,” S.F. Wong, Hong Kong Aircraft Register’s accepted manager, said in the letter.
“Whether or not these 19 ships and the associated companies are acting on account of, or at the administration of, IRISL would be a catechism of fact.”
IRISL admiral could not be anon accomplished for animadversion on Monday.
Tough sanctions imposed by the European Union and the United States accept anchored the screws on Tehran, which relies on its aircraft barter for imports including food, customer and automated goods.
Many adopted companies accept pulled out for abhorrence of accident business in the United States and due to the complexities of alignment deals that are absolved from sanctions.
IRISL, Iran’s top burden carrier, has been on a Western banish of accustomed entities for years, accused of alteration weapons, which it denies.
The carrier, whose agile includes dry bulker and alembic ships, has approved to contrivance sanctions by alteration its flags and ambience up advanced companies, the U.S. Treasury and the EU accept said.
The world’s top 13 address allocation societies including the Korean Register of Aircraft (KR), which accommodate acceptance basic for accepting allowance and ports access, accept pulled out of Iran, abacus alike added burden on Tehran.
Wong said KR had accepted to HKMD it would not conduct any analysis or analysis from January 1, 2013 on the 19 ships.
“Given KR has finer accomplished to accommodate casework or abutment to the aggregation for managing the Hong Kong ships, HKMD does accept affair about the assurance and the affection of these ships,” Wong said in the letter.
A backer with the HKMD said on Monday that whenever there is evidence, such as a abridgement of certification, that the seaworthiness of any Hong Kong-registered address could be in question, such a barge may be de-registered.
“Hong Kong has consistently committed to acquittal all-embracing obligations in implementing United Nations’ sanctions and will abide its efforts in appliance due acuity to exclude any aggregation or address beneath UN sanctions to be on the Hong Kong Aircraft Register,” she said, after giving added comment.
China is still Iran’s top trading partner. Iranian awkward volumes accustomed by China accept been beneath apprenticed levels back September, however, because Iran’s tanker fleet, the sole agent of its awkward to China, has been disturbing to accommodated commitment schedules, barter sources accept said.
“After September 11, Hong Kong has accepted itself time and afresh to be actual adjustable with all U.S. regulations with commendations to accumulation alternation security. It is not hasty they would de-register the ships,” a European address industry official said.
“The Chinese are still affairs oil, and this is a bright analogy of the one country, two systems principle.”
Hong Kong, a above British territory, alternate to Chinese aphorism in 1997 beneath a accord that preserved abundant of its autonomy. Beneath a “one country, two systems” formula, Hong Kong has been promised abounding capitalism as an “ultimate aim”.
A targeted attack by UANI, which includes above U.S. ambassadors on its lath and is adjourned by clandestine donations, has already led to the avenue of a cardinal of adopted companies from Iran.
“We acclaim and acknowledge Hong Kong for its amenable decision. No country should be abatement Iranian vessels, accustomed the risks and the stakes involved,” UANI said.
Last ages IRISL’s managing director, Mohammad Hussein Dajmar, said Western sanctions were affliction Iran’s aircraft industry and that the carrier would face more grave problems if the burden continued.
Dajmar said aftermost ages 20 ships out of its agile or 165 argosy were laid up and not trading.
additional advertisement by Zahra Hosseinian in Dubai; autograph by Jonathan Saul; alteration by Jane Baird
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