Skip to comments.Tehran's Ghost Fleet--Chinese state-owned firm in HK helping Iranian ships get around U.S. sanctions
Posted on 08/28/2011 10:48:14 AM PDT by Ooh-Ah
This June, a merchant ship flying the Hong Kong flag and sailing under the name of the Atlantic called at the Mexican port of Lazaro Cardenasthe southern end of a trade corridor to the U.S., advertised as "the fastest route to the heart of North America." That might be unremarkable, except the Atlantic, formerly called the Dreamland, and before that the Iran Saeidi, belongs to a curious network of 19 bulk carriers, all flagged out of Hong Kong and all blacklisted by the U.S. Treasury for their links to Iran.
...Hong Kong's Marine Department Shipping Register, the Atlantic is owned by a Hong Kong-registered company called Harvest Supreme Limited. Scratch the surface and Harvest Supreme tracks back to an Iranian address, as do 18 other obscure and interlinked Hong Kong ship-owning companies with names such as Grand Trinity Limited and Sparkle Brilliant Development Limited. These are the hallmarks of the global shell game with which Iran continues to dodge U.S. and United Nations sanctions. ***
This shell game began around 2008, when the U.S. imposed sanctions on Iran's state shipping company, the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, or IRISL, for its role in provisioning Iran's rogue missile and nuclear programs. The U.S. Treasury also blacklisted a slew of IRISL affiliates and 123 of its ships, including all 19 of these merchant ships now flagged to Hong Kong, making it potentially a crime under U.S. law to do business with them. Treasury also began pressuring players outside U.S. jurisdiction to shun Iran's proliferators, or risk being cut off from commerce with the U.S.
Meanwhile, at least seven of these 19 Iran-linked, Hong Kong-flagged, U.S.-blacklisted ships have visited Lazaro Cardenas in the past 15 months:... Perhaps it's time the world's sanctions enforcers took a closer look at this set-up.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
I’m not subscribing to that link
So, I’m not supporting Iran or anything, but how can the US impose sanctions on a ship registered in Hong Kong that docks at ports in Mexico? How exactly is this getting around US sanctions, when there isn’t any US territories or jurisdictions involved?
I know the Federal Government likes to think it runs the entire world, but it does not...
Besides that, the US has been at war with the so called islamic republic since 1979. The USN should monitor the Iranian merchant fleet with an eye to sinking all of them in a hurry if the need arises.
I agree with you on the concern - better to deal with the ships in Iran, or on the open seas via black teams, rather than once they’re in the port of a nominal ally. Seems rather curious that the Feds are only concerned once it’s in port - why not do something when it’s in port in Iran, or where no one can see/stop anything?
I don't think Mexico is an ally of the USA. They have not fought along side of the US, as far as I know, ever. In fact, is the central government really in control of the country? Is it not closer to a "failed state"?
“how can the US impose sanctions on a ship registered in Hong Kong that docks at ports in Mexico?”
We can’t. That’s why we need cooperation from other countries to uphold and help enforce the sanctions.
Which is why I said “nominal” as a descriptor of ally. They’re an ally as long as it benefits them. Otherwise they couldn’t give a rip.
Last time they actually committed any troops was in WWII - it’s been a while!