- The Washington Times
Thursday, May 14, 2020

The State Department on Thursday issued a new advisory to the global maritime industry that highlights shipping practices that Iran, North Korea and Syria use to avoid sanctions.

The guidance, known as a Global Maritime Advisory, provides a set of “best practices” that private ships and insurers in the energy and metals sector can reference to avoid sanctions risk.

“The United States remains committed to disrupting shipping activities by malign actors worldwide — including sanctions evasion and smuggling — which may facilitate criminal activity and threatens international peace and security,” the department said in a statement announcing the advisory.

The advisory includes guidance to not store Iranian oil and warnings to ships to not turn off their transponders, Reuters reported.

The department said the advisory is “intended to provide actors that utilize the maritime industry for trade with information on and tools to counter current and emerging trends in sanctions evasion related to shipping and associated services.”

Iran has repeatedly attempted to impede the flow of oil through the Middle East as a direct response to the Trump administration’s global embargo on all exports of Iranian oil.

The embargo is a key piece of a broader set of economic sanctions designed to drive Iran back to the negotiating table, but key U.S. allies have hesitated to fully join the pressure campaign. The U.S. has placed similar restrictions on Syria and North Korea, among other international actors.

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