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January 17, 2011 

OFAC Adds Additional Entities Affiliated With Iran's Shipping Line and Aerospace Industry to SDN List

Last week the U.S. Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced the addition to the List of Specially Designated Nationals (SDN List) 24 shipping companies affiliated with the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) and two entities that are subordinates of Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO) because of their alleged role in proliferation activities.

The following entities were added to the SDN List pursuant to the authority of Executive Order 13382, which is aimed at freezing the assets of proliferators of weapons of mass destruction and their supporters:

  • Four Hong Kong based shipping companies – Starry Shine International Limited, Ideal Success Investments Limited, Top Glacier Company Limited, and Top Prestige Trading Limited – for being owned and managed by Ahmad Sarkandi and Ghasem Nabipour, two individuals designated by Treasury in October 2010 for acting for or on behalf of IRISL.
  • Sixteen shipping companies, each based at the same address in Hong Kong, for being owned or controlled by IRISL or affiliated entities. In late 2009, these sixteen companies became the owners of a series of vessels, each of which is already identified on OFAC's SDN List, that were previously owned by the four Hong Kong companies listed above.
  • Four shipping companies in the Isle of Man that that share the same address with eight previously-designated shipping companies wholly-owned by IRISL, for being owned or controlled by IRISL or IRISL front companies.
  • Shahid Ahmad Kazemi Industries Group, a subordinate to AIO that is responsible for the development and production of surface-to-air missiles. It is suspected of soliciting foreign technology for Iran’s missile programs and participating in North Korea's missile-related programs. North Korea has provided significant assistance to Iran in its development of ballistic missiles and missile technology.
  • M. Babaie Industries, also linked to Iran’s WMD proliferation efforts and suspected of soliciting foreign technology for Iran’s missile programs, was designated for being owned or controlled by, or acting for or on behalf of AIO.
In September 2008 the U.S. added IRISL and its fleet of vessels to the SDN List because of its role in supplying Iran’s weapon programs. In an effort to evade these sanctions IRISL started renaming the vessels and changing their ownership. The Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control's Iran Watch program has issued a report describing IRISL's renaming efforts and containing a chart showing the old and new name and owner of IRISL's vessels.

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