Hong Kong brings an end to its reflagging of ships linked to the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL).
The move comes after US pressure group United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) urged Hong Kong officials to end the flagging of 19 bulk ships which were owned, managed or operated by IRISL.
Tehran has been struggling with Western-imposed sanctions over its nuclear programme and the reflagging of ships had allowed China to purchase large amounts of oil from the Islamic Republic, serving as an essential source of revenue for the country in difficult times.
The country also relies heavily on shipping trade for imports which include commercial and industrial goods, as well as food.
Iran’s top cargo carrier, which has been a known sanctioned entity for many years, has been accused by the US and EU of trying to evade sanctions by changing flags and establishing front companies.
The world’s 13 main ship classification societies have pulled out of Iran, as the country continues to sail towards economic suffocation.
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