Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Business

US urges Panama to remove flag from rogue Iranian ships

More than 8,000 ships fly the Panamanian flag, including many owned by shipping companies with few ties to the Central American country
More than 8,000 ships fly the Panamanian flag, including many owned by shipping companies with few ties to the Central American country - Copyright AFP SEBASTIEN BOZON
More than 8,000 ships fly the Panamanian flag, including many owned by shipping companies with few ties to the Central American country - Copyright AFP SEBASTIEN BOZON

A United States special envoy on Wednesday urged Panama to stop Iranian ships from flying its flag, which allows Tehran to evade sanctions imposed by Washington.

The small Central American nation is the world leader in offering flags of convenience, which allow shipping companies to register their vessels in countries to which they have no link — for a fee and freedom from oversight.

“Iran and actors related to Iran are trying to evade sanctions here in Panama. They’re trying to abuse Panama’s flag registry,” said Abram Paley, US deputy special envoy for Iran.

Paley was visiting the country “to ensure Panama’s shipping registry and jurisdiction is not abused by entities attempting to evade our sanctions on Iran.”

According to the Panama Maritime Authority, the country has registered 8,540 ships, some 16 percent of the global fleet.

Washington suspects that some of them are used by Iran to transport oil or its derivatives, to bypass sanctions.

Iran has been under crippling US sanctions since Washington’s 2018 withdrawal from a landmark nuclear deal.

According to Paley, at least six ships flying the Panamanian flag have violated these sanctions since January.

The US government accuses Iran of financing Yemen’s Huthi rebels and other organizations such as Hezbollah and Hamas with the revenue it receives from oil sales.

Experts say that rogue ship owners use the flag of convenience to bypass environmental regulations and labor laws and even conceal entirely who owns a specific ship.

“We expect that the Panamanian government will continue to work with us based on their domestic laws and international obligations,” said Paley.

AFP
Written By

With 2,400 staff representing 100 different nationalities, AFP covers the world as a leading global news agency. AFP provides fast, comprehensive and verified coverage of the issues affecting our daily lives.

You may also like:

Entertainment

Morgan Spurlock, the acclaimed filmmaker behind the hit 2004 documentary "Super Size Me," has died aged 53 of complications from cancer.

Entertainment

Veteran actress and singer Lorna Luft chatted about her latest endeavors.

Entertainment

Jeremy Renner chatted about his latest endeavors in acting and music, which includes the release of his "Love and Titanium" EP.

Business

Bullets made out of money never miss and don’t make appointments.