Today, sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) and its Shanghai-based subsidiary, E-Sail Shipping Company Ltd (E-Sail) have come into effect. Six months ago, I announced that the United States would take action against these entities pursuant to Executive Order 13382, which targets WMD proliferators and their supporters. To allow exporters of humanitarian goods to Iran sufficient time to find alternate shipping methods, we postponed the effective date of these designations for 180 days. Now that this generous delay has come to an end, those in the commercial and maritime industries doing business with Iran must use carriers or shipping methods other than IRISL or E-Sail; any government, entity, or individual that chooses to continue doing business with IRISL and/or E-Sail now risks exposure to U.S. WMD sanctions.
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. 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 international community should take notice of Iran’s continued deception. I urge the maritime industry and governments around the world to review and heed the information in the May 14, 2020 U.S. Guidance to Address Illicit Shipping and Sanctions Evasion Practices, which addresses how Iran abuses the international shipping system to advance illicit activities.
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. 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.