Iranian fleet runs aground in Asia

International sanctions have dealt a hard blow to the Islamic republic’s official carrier, whose ships are being seized as banks foreclose on mortgages. Luke Hunt writes for Spectrum magazine in the Sunday Bangkok Post.

Heading the list of targets is the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL). With perhaps the biggest fleet in the Middle East, the carrier is struggling as banks foreclose on mortgaged vessels and insurers refuse to underwrite its operations. This has resulted in IRISL ships in Asian ports being arrested _ defined under the 1999 International Convention on the Arrest of Ships as “any detention or restriction on removal of a ship by order of a court to secure a maritime claim” _ as banks clamour for their money, causing delays to customers and incurring additional financial penalties.

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Luke Hunt is a foreign correspondent, author and occasional photographer who has covered much of Asia fr the last 30 years.

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