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US imposes sanctions on IRISL

Washington: The United States has imposed sanctions against Iran's national maritime carrier, the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), and 18 affiliates in an attempt to increase pressure on Iran over its nuclear program, reports Reuters. The US has banned transactions between American citizens and IRISL and its affiliates and intends to freeze any assets the companies have under US jurisdiction.

Although the sanctions are not expected to impact the carrier's core business, which lies outside the US, it is possible that they may affect IRISL's ability to interact with major international insurance companies.

The US claims that IRISL and its affiliates provided logistical support for Iran's Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics and misrepresented their activities. "Not only does IRISL facilitate the transfer of cargo for UN-designated proliferators, it also falsifies documents and uses deceptive schemes to shroud its involvement in illicit commerce," Stuart Levey, Treasury's under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, is quoted by the newswire as having said in a statement.

Iran's UN Mission is reported to have said that the new sanctions were another display of US hostility toward Iran based on false claims about Tehran's nuclear program. "Such actions on the part of the United States are counterproductive, will not help in finding a solution to resolving any issues, and would only make the situation more complicated," Reuters reports the mission as having said in a statement.  [11/09/08]

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