UANI Calls on Japan to Cease Sovereign Guarantees on Oil, Stop Helping Iran Circumvent Shipping Sanctions



July 24, 2012

Contact: Nathan Carleton, [email protected]

Phone: (212) 554-3296


UANI Calls on Japan to Cease Sovereign Guarantees on Oil, Stop Helping Iran Circumvent Shipping Sanctions


New York, NY - On Tuesday, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) called on the government of Japan to stop providing sovereign insurance guarantees to shippers of Iranian oil, which allows the Iranian regime circumvent international sanctions.


UANI is specifically calling on Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda to take action on this issue, and for Ichiro Fujisaki, Japan's Ambassador to the U.S., and Tsuneo Nishida, Permanent Representative of Japan to the UN, to impress upon their government the current efforts by the U.S., EU, and others to impose an airtight oil embargo on Iran.


This month, Japan's government has begun to provide Japanese shippers with sovereign insurance guarantees, in the wake of EU sanctions that suspended such coverage. Last week, the crude carrier Ryuho Maru, owned by Japanese shipper Iino Kaiun Kaisha, reportedly loaded 1.7 million barrels of Iranian crude on behalf of JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp. and Idemitsu Kosan Co.


Said UANI CEO, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace:


While we applaud the Japanese government for reducing its imports of Iranian oil, we call on it to stop providing insurance to shippers of that oil. It is imperative that world powers such as Japan are invested in the effort to isolate the Iranian regime, not providing it with a financial lifeline.


Forcing the regime's hand requires a full shipping embargo, free of loopholes. The Iranian regime regularly falsifies shipping declarations, and misuses commercial vessels to advance its nuclear program and send weapons to terrorists.


We call on Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and other Japanese officials to be consistent and responsible. Japan must not only further reduce its imports of Iranian oil, but also end its insuring of vessels that carry it.



Last week, Japanese classification society ClassNK announced the closing of its Tehran office in response to UANI. The prominent European shipping services Bureau Veritas and Germanischer Lloyd recently stopped certifying Iranian vessels in response to UANI.


UANI has highlighted the shipping industry as an area where the international community can further pressure Iran. In a May 17 Wall Street Journal Op-Ed, six UANI board members wrote that "the world must deny Iran's access to international shipping, a move that would severely affect the regime given its dependence on global trade and seaborne crude oil exports."


Click here to visit UANI's Shipping Campaign page.