Ship Insurer Seeks Clarity on New U.S. Sanctions Against Iran

Following are comments on new U.S. sanctions against Iran from the Standard Club, a provider of marine insurance for risks such as spills and collisions.

President Barack Obama announced an executive order on July 31 extending sanctions to buying Iranian petrochemical products, providing material support to the National Iranian Oil Co. or Naftiran Intertrade Co., and acquisition of U.S. banknotes or precious metals by Iran’s government. The Standard Club commented in a statement on its website.

“The U.S. wants to further isolate NIOC and NICO, which are already sanctioned under U.S. law; these sanctions aim to deter foreign financial institutions from continuing to deal with them. Additional aims of the sanctions are to deter efforts to circumvent existing U.S. sanctions and to further isolate Iran’s petroleum and petrochemical industries. There are limited exemptions for Iran’s trade partners who have significantly reduced their purchase of Iranian crude oil.

“These sanctions are silent as to whether they apply to shipowners carrying petroleum, petroleum products or petrochemical products from Iran. Equally it is not entirely clear whether the sanctions apply to the provision of insurance for ships carrying the relevant cargoes. The managers are seeking further information in relation to the scope and application of these sanctions and will keep members advised.”