Shipping to Iran in 2012

In 2008, the US blacklisted IRISL, Iran’s shipping company. Several laws had been broken in connection with IRISL and its counterparts and the company has been linked to violations in exporting arms from Iran. Now with the United Nations new sanctions firmly in place, Iran’s shipping companies have been looking for ways to continue their international cargo shipping businesses. Not only their standard importing and exporting, but their illegal arms trading as well. IRISL, as an Iranian shipper, has found loopholes to circumvent the system despite the strict international sanctions over Iran’s nuclear policies. While this does not make for cheap international shipping, it certainly shows the flexibility of the shipping industry.

In this case, Iran’s IRISL has been changing flags to make it possible to move shipping cargo containers to and from various other ports so that they do not seem to break the United Nations laws. Several Iranian ships have been specifically using Singapore to launch their way to other destinations under their constantly changing flags so that they are not affected by the United Nations sanctions. The problem now is that Iranian leaders are not looking to change their nuclear policies and are more determined than ever to continue those nuclear policies claiming they are for energy, not weapons. When people assisting the Iranian shipping processes are asked why they are willing to help Iranian shipping companies regardless of United Nations laws, they say that they are only in the shipping business. That the United Nations sanctions are political and they are not a part of those politics.

Unfortunately we, as part of the shipping industry, are all a part of those politics regardless of where we live or what we believe.

Some people would say that international commerce has been changing and it is up to the people of the shipping industry to comply with international standards and policies. The trouble is that in many parts of the world, these types of policies are not taken seriously. That they are not necessary since IRISL is not a direct participant in the Iranian government. As a result Iran can have more of a bump in the road instead of a severe blow to its international commerce. Shipping industry workers think it is not a problem to continue the services since they are thinking in a business sense rather than how their actions can affect not only the shipping industry, but relationships on a world level as well.

Overall if the shipping industry is working in favor of companies that are involved in moving weapons and arms from Iran to other areas of the world with terrorists and unrest, then we can only expect to see more terrorism and more unrest around the world.

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