U.S. sanctions: Panama deflags 59 ships linked to Iran

Panama to expel 60 Iranian ships for fear of US sanctions

Maritime Authority of Panama (AMP) has revoked the registration of no fewer than 59 Iranian ships after the restoration of the US sanctions targeting transportation, oil and banking sectors.

The President of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, issued a decree in February authorizing AMP to delist the Iranian carriers registered under the Panamanian flag of convenience. 

The Panamanian ship registry is the largest in the world, with more than 7,000 vessels flying the flag of this country. 

The deflagging of the ships is expected to stall the Islamic country’s efforts to ship oil to ports and terminals around the world. Iran has 65 tankers in its fleet, with the majority of them owned by the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC). 

In order to compete with international counterparts and increase onshore storage capability, Iranian companies have been reportedly exploring ways to increase its tanker fleet by purchases and newbuilding orders. However, the progress on fleet expansion has been slowed down due to the U.S. sanctions.

The sanctions targeting Iranian entities, vessels, and individuals, were reinstated by the Trump administration in November 2018. 

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