‘Coordination among maritime organizations a must in face of U.S. sanctions’

June 21, 2020 - 15:6

TEHRAN - Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) Head Mohammad Rastad said close coordination and collaboration among the country’s maritime organizations is a necessity for defeating U.S. sanctions on this sector.

Speaking on the occasion of the international Seafarer Day (which is on June 25), Rastad referred to the new sanctions imposed by the U.S. on the country's shipping lines, and said: “In this regard, we need more serious and closer interaction between maritime agencies and organizations to use all their capacities for improving the activities in this sector and minimize the impacts of the sanctions.”

The official noted that in a video conference meeting with the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and his management team, PMO has criticized the United States' illegal threats and sanctions for being contrary to international laws and conventions.

Iranian sailors are being threatened while pursuing their legal duties under international maritime conventions and regulations, he said.

Rastad further noted that such unconventional behavior on the part of the United States poses a direct threat to maritime safety; this needs to be rectified and prevented by IMO and other international regulatory agencies.

“We discussed the need for insuring maritime safety and environmental protection as major duties of the International Maritime Organization and finally for the first time we were able to convince this organization to investigate the U.S. threats to Iranian shipping activities from a legal point of view”, he noted.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the PMO head referred to the negative impacts of the coronavirus outbreak on the world's maritime transportation, and said: "We are going through a challenging situation, but it is universal. Corona has cast a heavy shadow over the world economy, and as a result, trade between countries and demand for maritime transportation has declined.”

According to the official, shipbuilding orders fell by at least 60 percent in the first three or four months of 2020, compared to the previous year.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Treasury Department designated 121 tankers, container ships and other vessels owned or tied to Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) for additional secondary sanctions.

The sanctions came as Iran delivered five tankers loaded with fuel to Venezuela despite strong opposition from the United States.

EF/MA

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