UANI Warned Tanker Owners of Iran Dangers Prior to Attacks

(New York, N.Y.) – United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) previously cautioned the owners of both commercial tankers that were attacked on June 13 of the risks of doing business with Iran. The two tankers, the Kokuka Courageous and the MT Front Altair, were attacked in the Gulf of Oman, 25 miles off the southern coast of Iran. The U.S. government blames Iran for the attacks.  

“Iran’s attacks on oil tankers traveling through the Gulf of Oman is an unprecedented provocation,” said UANI CEO Ambassador Mark D. Wallace. “The economic isolation of Iran is a tool of non-military action that is working. Yet, rather than change its behavior and come to the bargaining table, Iran acts as the terror state that it is. All responsible countries should exit Iran’s economy and no responsible business should trade with Iran.” 

UANI had written to the owners/operators of both vessels in late 2018 due to their vessels calling at Iranian ports and specifically warned of the risk of being used in pursuit of the regime’s illicit agenda. In its letters, UANI mentioned it was “troubled by the very real possibility that international shipping vessels may be exploited by the regime in its proliferation and smuggling activities. The Islamic Republic has engaged in politically motivated seizures of commercial vessels, intended to project influence at home and abroad.”

UANI also noted how commercial shipping vessels were reportedly being used to ferry arms to Iranian terrorist proxies, notably to the Houthis in Yemen, in clear violation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) arms embargos.

The Kokuka Courageous is operated by the Singapore based company Bernhard Schulte, a subsidiary of Schulte Group which is based in Hamburg, Germany. Based on publicly available shipping information, the vessel was transporting methanol from the port of Jubail, Saudi Arabia on June 10, 2019, and was destined for Singapore. UANI contacted Bernhard Schulte on August 2, 2018, and its parent Schulte Group on June 29, 2018 and October 15, 2018.

The MT Front Altair is owned and operated by the Bermuda based Norwegian company Frontline Ltd. Based on publicly available shipping information, the vessel departed from the Strait of Hormuz on June 13, 2019, and was destined for Kaohsiung, Chinese Taipei. UANI contacted Frontline on June 11, 2018 and October 19, 2018. On October 22, 2018, Frontline CEO Robert Hvide Macleod confirmed to UANI: “We have terminated all business with Iran.”

UANI also continuously tracks Iran’s 40-year reign of terror through in-depth research. UANI’s State Sponsorship of Terrorism resource includes an interactive timeline of attacks directed by Tehran and its proxies. There is a long history of regime complicity in strikes on oil infrastructure in the Middle East. For example, the terrorist group Hezbollah al-Hejaz targeted Saudi gas facilities and petrochemical plants in 1987 and 1988, and in 2017, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) attempted to infiltrate Saudi offshore oil facilities.

UANI’s Proxy Wars: Regional Dominance Strategy resource delves more specifically into the modus operandi of groups like Hezbollah, Hamas, the Houthis, and Iraqi Shiite militias in furtherance Tehran’s hegemonic ambitions.