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US Warns Ports And Insurers To Steer Clear Of Iranian Shipping

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In an effort to reinforce US sanctions on Iran, the State Department warned all ports and insurance companies in the world not to deal with Iranian ships, calling it a "floating liability."

The "toughest ever" US sanctions against Iran came into force on Monday.

They target critical sectors of Iran's economy, including oil exports and energy sector, port operators, shipping and shipbuilding sectors, and financial institutions conducting transactions with the Central Bank of Iran.

In a news conference Wednesday, Brian Hook, the State Department's special representative on Iran policy, said Washington wants to alert nations of the risk of doing business with Iran's shipping sector. "If Iranian tankers make calls to your ports or transit through your waterways, this comes at great risk."

The US Government placed on its sanctions list Iran's national maritime carrier, the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, and its oil transport giant, the National Iranian Tanker Company.

These sanctions are critical to Washington's maximum pressure campaign, according to Hook. Iran's energy sector accounts for up to 80 percent of the country's income from exports. Hook alleged that the Hassan Rouhani regime uses this revenue to support its terrorist militias, fund missile proliferation, and sustain its revolutionary exploits that destabilize the Middle East.

The Special representative warned that providing insurance, re-insurance and underwriting services to black-listed Iranian shipping companies will attract U.S. sanctions.

He said that from the Suez Canal to the Strait of Malacca and all choke-points in between, Iranian tankers are now a floating liability. Countries, ports, canal operators, and private firms have been cautioned that they will be likely responsible for the costs of an accident involving a self-insured Iranian tanker.

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