WASHINGTON -- The United States imposed sanctions on three shipping companies in Malta that it said are fronts for Iran’s national maritime carrier.
The sanctions were imposed last Friday on Marble Shipping Limited and the Bushehr Shipping Company, which are owned by Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines,
and ISI Maritime Limited, which is owned by an Islamic Republic Shipping subsidiary, to keep Iran from sidestepping international sanctions.
The companies are banned from all transactions with US companies and individuals, and their assets under US jurisdiction were frozen.
Stuart Levey, US Treasury under-secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, wrote Monday in an opinion article for the Financial Times that the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines forges documents, changes ship names and sends cargo through front companies located abroad in order to avoid the sanctions.