Iran to sue US over “cruel” sanctions

Iran will bring a lawsuit against the US at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) following “cruel” sanctions and restrictions on its vessels which could see them prevented from entering ports.

Mohammad Rastad, managing director of Iran's Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO), confirmed a lawsuit would be filed in London in November in response to “cruel US sanctions and restrictions on maritime transport,” according to local media sources, reported PressTV. This follows the US’ decision to resume sanctions on Iran's oil, shipping and banking industries on 5 November and warn ports that Iranian vessels are a risk.

Mr Rastad’s declaration was made at a workshop on ports, maritime and logistics organised by the PMO and the European Union.

Protection vow

Rear-Admiral Mahmoud Mousavi, a deputy commander of the regular armed forces in Iran, also said that Iran's armed forces will protect Iranian oil tankers against threats after US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook called Iranian vessels a “floating liability” and said they would lose access to international insurance markets under the US sanctions and so would be a risk to ports that allowed them access.

“Iran’s armed forces...are prepared today as in the past to protect our fleet of oil tankers against any threats so that it can continue to use marine waterways,” said Mr Mousavi, according to the semi-official news agency ISNA.

US president Donald Trump pulled out of a 2015 international agreement curbing Iran's nuclear programme in May.

Port Strategy recently reported that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has granted an exception to US sanctions that will allow India to develop Iran’s Chabahar Port.

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