DUBAI/LONDON - Targeted Western sanctions are hurting Iran's vital shipping industry and if the pressure continues its biggest cargo carrier will face increasingly grave problems, the head of the Iranian line said.
Many of Iran's imports, including food and consumer goods, arrive on container, bulker and other ships, but the number of vessels calling at its ports has dived by more than half this year as the United States and European Union tighten the screws.
"If the government was not assisting, (sanctions) would have stopped a lot more of our activity," Mohammad Hussein Dajmar, managing director of the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), said in an interview published on Sunday.
"If this situation continues, certainly our operations will face serious problems. Shipping has been among the primary objectives of sanctions. The damage has had a significant bearing. More pressure will result in greater damage," Dajmar was quoted as saying by Iranian business daily Jahan-e Sanat