U.S. approach against Iran’s maritime sector violates IMO’s spirit

November 20, 2018

TEHRAN- Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) in a statement condemned the U.S.’s sanctions against Iran’s maritime transportation and activities and said such approach is in contravention with the laws and regulations of International Maritime Organization (IMO).

The PMO’s statement said that a country’s maritime fleet’s safety, security, technical and quality status is evaluated based on the international records and inspection reports not the claims of a country; and the U.S.’s approach against Iran’s maritime sector is in contrast with the spirit of IMO, PMO’s website published on Tuesday.

In the statement, PMO, as the competent maritime administration and port authority of the Islamic Republic of Iran, clarifies the status and stance of the Iranian maritime sector in guaranteeing maritime safety and security, and protecting the marine environment.

The following is a summary of the statement published on PMO’s website:

The Iranian fleet is ranked 21st among national fleets, with over 700 vessels operating in the Caspian Sea, Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman. Their operation is closely scrutinized by the Iranian maritime administration (PMO), as well as international classification societies.

Strict national legislations have been approved and implemented on the Iranian port and maritime sector, especially cargo ships and oil tankers. These regulations cover all Iranian ships, including the non-convention sized vessels, as well as exempt areas such as the Caspian Sea that are not covered by the international conventions. Therefore, any substandard vessel would be seriously dealt with through the Iranian legislation, even before setting sail toward international waters.

As a core for transport and commercial activities of this country, the Iranian shipping industry firmly believes in operating under the highest safety, environmental and quality standards possible. Iran will keep cooperating with the relevant international organizations, such as IMO, IHO, ILO, IALA, IAPH, and the like. Following a two-year period of vice-chairmanship in the ROMPE Sea Area Hydrographic Commission (RSAHC), this country is also going to chair that commission for the next two years.

Iran is fully aligned with the global maritime community and IMO in promoting shipping and maritime activities.

Against the global trend of cooperation and interaction, the United States has levied heavy and unfair sanctions, aiming at crippling the Iranian shipping industry. They have even attempted to contaminate the international atmosphere against the Iranian maritime activities, by falsely accusing the Iranian fleet of being substandard in safety and environmental terms. Such claims have been automatically rejected by the excellent performance records of Iranian vessels as inspected and observed in different ports around the world.

Considering the above, the Ports and Maritime Organization would like to stress that 1) the United States is behaving against the IMO’s spirit and orientation for promoting international shipping through cooperation; and 2) the quality and safety performance of a national fleet is assessed and verified by international records of PSC inspections, maritime accidents and audits, not by simple verbal allegations for or against them.

MA/MA

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