Economy, Business And Markets

Easing Sanctions ‘Insufficient’

Easing Sanctions ‘Insufficient’Easing Sanctions ‘Insufficient’

The easing of sanctions on Iran’s shipping companies would not yield significant results so long as banking and insurance sanctions are still in place, deputy minister of industry, mine, and trades Mojtaba Khosrotaj said on Monday.

The West eased part of sanctions against Iran’s shipping sector after Tehran and the P5 + 1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) reached an interim nuclear deal in November 2013; however, the nuclear talks are still in process to hammer out a long-term settlement to the 12-year nuclear dispute.

The existing sanctions ban international insurers from offering services to Iranian vessels.

“Until this matter is not properly addressed, partial ease of western sanctions will not yield any significant results,” Khosrotaj said, as quoted by ISNA.

On smuggling issues, the official said it is essential for the government to closely monitor the imports.

He also warned that smuggling gangs “are trying to bypass restrictions and remove obstacles to their illegal trade.”

 ISRIL’s Troubles

The Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines and its various subsidiaries are under sanctions by the European Union and the United States for allegedly aiding Iran’s nuclear energy program.

On Jan. 23, The European Union’s second-highest court struck down sanctions on a string of Iranian shipping companies hit with asset freezes as part of pressure on Tehran. But judges gave the EU more than two months to respond before the decisions take effect. The EU has already placed IRISL back on its sanctions list, citing new legal grounds.

The decisions were the latest in a number of legal reverses the EU has suffered over the validity of its sanctions. It has responded to similar court decisions by relisting Iranian companies using different criteria.

Iran is currently in negotiations with the US, Russia, China and three EU member states on a comprehensive nuclear deal, which would gradually ease sanctions in exchange for addressing concerns over its nuclear activities. Those talks, already extended twice, are due to conclude on June 30.