Designation of the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) and Subsidiaries for Proliferation Activities

September 11, 2008

Weapon Program: 

  • Military

On September 10, the Department of the Treasury designated under Executive Order 13382 the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) and eighteen IRISL subsidiaries of proliferation concern. IRISL and its subsidiaries are being designated for facilitating shipments of military cargo destined for the Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL) and its subordinate entities, including organizations that have been designated by the United Nations Security Council in Resolutions 1737 and 1747. MODAFL was designated by the U.S. Department of State in October 2007 under E.O. 13382 and has brokered a number of transactions involving materials and technologies with ballistic missile applications.

These designations serve to implement United Nations Security Council Resolution 1803 of March 2008, which calls upon all states, in accordance with their national legal authorities and international law, to inspect IRISL cargoes to or from Iran, "provided there are reasonable grounds to believe that the…vessel…is transporting goods prohibited" under UNSCRs 1737, 1747 or 1803. We are concerned that IRISL is using its global transportation system to ship items of proliferation concern to Iran in circumvention of these United Nations Security Council resolutions.

In order to ensure the successful delivery of military-related goods, IRISL has deliberately misled maritime authorities through deceptive techniques. These techniques were adopted to conceal the true nature of shipments ultimately destined for MODAFL. Furthermore, as international attention over Iran's WMD programs has increased, IRISL has pursued new strategies to maintain commerce which also afford it the potential to evade future detection of military shipments, including:

* Falsifying shipping documents in order to hide the true end users of shipments;
* Employing the use of generic terms to describe shipments so as not to attract the attention of shipping authorities; and
* Creating and making use of cover entities to conduct official IRISL business.

These designations will add to our continuing actions to prevent Iranian entities of proliferation concern from accessing U.S. financial and commercial markets that could aid Iranian efforts to develop a nuclear weapons capability. These designations also highlight the dangers of doing business with IRISL and its subsidiaries. Countries and firms, including customers, business partners, and maritime insurers, may be unwittingly helping the shipping line facilitate Iran's proliferation activities.

As a result of our actions today, all property and interests in property of the designated persons that are in the U.S., that hereafter come within the U.S., or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of U.S. persons, are blocked and may not be transferred or otherwise dealt in.

The 18 subsidiaries include:

* Valfajr 8th Shipping Line Co. SSK
* Khazar Sea Shipping Lines
* Irinvestship Ltd.
* Shipping Computer Services Company
* Iran o Misr Shipping Company
* Iran o Hind Shipping Company
* IRISL Marine Services & Engineering Company
* Irital Shipping SRL
* South Shipping Line
* IRISL Multimodal Transport Co.
* Oasis Freight Agencies
* IRISL Europe Gmbh
* IRISL Benelux NV
* IRISL China Shipping Co., Ltd.
* Asia Marine Network Pte., Ltd.
* CISCO Shipping Co., Ltd.
* IRISL (Malta) Ltd.

According to its Web site (, IRISL owns 115 ocean going vessels totaling 3.3 million deadweight tonnage (DWT), has 7,000 employees and is capable of transporting 22 million tonnes of cargo a year.

For additional information on the designation, please visit: