UANI Calls on the Korean Register of Shipping to Stop Certifying IRISL Vessels and Iranian Oil Tankers

June 26, 2012
Contact: Nathan Carleton, [email protected]
Phone: (212) 554-3296

UANI Calls on the Korean Register of Shipping to Stop Certifying IRISL Vessels and Iranian Oil Tankers

New York, NY -On Tuesday, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) called on the Korean Register of Shipping (KRS) to stop certifying Iranian shipping vessels, specifically those of the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) and National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC).

As the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday, KRS is one of the only classification societies in the world that continues to provide Iranian vessels with safety certificates. The prominent European shipping services Bureau Veritas and Germanischer Lloyd recently stopped certifying Iranian vessels in response to UANI.

In a June 25 letter to Oh Kong-gyun, KRS Chairman & CEO, UANI CEO, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, explained how KRS's activities help Iran circumvent multilateral sanctions, and violate sanctions imposed by the Republic of Korea:

KRS's irresponsible decision to provide certification services at a time when responsible businesses are leaving Iran undermines the efforts of the international community to isolate the Iranian regime and directly aids IRISL's deceptive and illegal activities.


As you are no doubt aware, in September 2010, the ROK government joined with the U.S. and the EU to sanction entities like IRISL. Currently, however, KRS is providing classification services to 17 ROD-managed vessels according to KRS's publicly accessible "Register of Ships." (Korean Register of Shipping: Register of Ships, input: "Rahbaran") If blacklisted entities are able to change their names in order to circumvent sanctions then the entire rationale for an effective sanctions regime collapses.

KRS is also the leading provider of certification services to NITC, a subsidiary of the National Iranian Oil Company and an entity with known ties to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps ("IRGC"), the group directly responsible for overseeing Iran's nuclear weapons program and terrorist activities. According to publicly available information KRS provides services to 19 NITC vessels, nearly half of the NITC's 39-vessel fleet. Numerous countries around the world have added NITC to the list of suspect entities with which they will no longer do business.

UANI has highlighted the shipping industry as an area where the international community can further pressure Iran. In a March 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."

UANI has requested a response from KRS by July 2, 2012.

Click here to read UANI's full letter to KRS.
Click here to send a message to KRS.
Click here to read UANI's Wall Street Journal Op-Ed, "Total Sanctions Might Stop Iran."
Click here to visit UANI's Shipping Campaign page.