On June 8, 2020, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control announced the designation of a multitude of shipping vessels linked to the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL). Sanctions against the vessels were made pursuant to Executive Order 13882, which targets entities responsible for the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their supporters.
In a related statement, Secretary of State Pompeo warned that anyone in commercial and maritime industries who does business with Iran should avoid engaging with these sanctioned entities, or risk exposure to US sanctions. He urged the international maritime industry and governments around the world to review the information provided in the US Guidance to Address Illicit Shipping and Sanctions Evasion Practices released on May 14, 2020, because it demonstrates how Iran uses the international shipping system to foster unlawful activities. Pompeo also advised other governments to investigate IRISL activities in their own ports and territorial seas in an effort to put an end to Iran’s proliferation-sensitive programs, including its nuclear and missile programs.