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US Issues An Updated List Of Sanctioned Iranian Ships

Workers watch a ship as it sails during an inauguration ceremony of new equipment and infrastructure at Shahid Beheshti Port in the Southeastern Iranian coastal city of Chabahar, on the Gulf of Oman. FILE PHOTO

The U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) updated the list of Iranian ships subject to sanctions on Sunday, June 7, and added several other Iranian ships and oil tankers to the list.

Titled as Iran Non-proliferation Weapons of Mass destruction Sanctions, the new list names 123 Iranian vessels, including cargo ships and oil tankers.

However, the U.S. Treasury Department has not said how many of the vessels were already on the sanctions list and how many had recently been added.

About two weeks ago, when five Iranian oil tankers transported fuel to Venezuela, some media outlets reported that at least two non-Iranian tankers were moving in the same direction but withdrew following the U.S. threat to sanction them.

Last December, the U.S. had announced IRISL and Shanghai-based E-SAIL Shipping Company would be added to its blacklist.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement on Monday, June 8, that the action against the Islamic Republic was under Executive Order 13382, which targets proliferators of weapons of mass destruction and their supporters.

The sanctions came into effect after a 180-day grace period for companies working with IRISL and E-Sail to find alternative shipping methods.

"IRISL has repeatedly transported items related to Iran’s ballistic missile and military programs and is also a longstanding carrier of other proliferation-sensitive items, including Nuclear Suppliers-Group controlled items," Mike Pompeo said.

"Despite Iran’s claims that it will never develop nuclear weapons and associated delivery systems, the Iranian regime has continued to pursue and procure proliferation-sensitive items in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 2231,” the U.S. Secretary of State asserted.

Furthermore, he called on the international community to "take notice of Iran’s continued deception."

“These designations serve as a clear warning that anyone doing business with or otherwise supporting IRISL or E-Sail are exposed to potential sanctions and risk contributing to Iran’s proliferation-sensitive programs, including its nuclear and missile programs," Pompeo cautioned.

"We urge government authorities worldwide to investigate all IRISL and E-Sail activity in your ports and territorial seas and take appropriate action to put a halt to it. The world must be vigilant and take action to prevent Iran from acquiring proliferation-sensitive items that further threaten regional stability and security," Pompeo noted.