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No Israeli Ship Docked in Iran: Official

Service : Economy
TEHRAN, May 30 (ICANA) – Iran dismisses reports that Israeli ships have docked in Iranian ports in recent years.
Monday, May 30, 2011 1:30:08 PM
No Israeli Ship Docked in Iran: Official

A senior Iranian official refutes fabricated reports that Israeli ships have docked in Iran during recent years, saying no ship belonging to Israeli shipping lines had entered the Iranian ports.

“Ships belonging to shipping lines of the United States and particularly the Zionist regime (Israel) have never entered Iranian ports during recent years,” deputy managing director at Iran's Port and Maritime Organization, Mohsen Sadeqifar, told IRNA on Sunday.

He added that Iran's Commerce Ministry or the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration have issued no license for any US or Israeli ship to dock in Iranian ports.

The official emphasized that Israeli ships “do not dare to dock at Iranian ports.”

Sadeqifar's remarks came after Israeli daily Haaretz claimed that at least 13 Tanker Pacific ships, owned by a leading Israeli company, Ofer Brothers Group, have docked in the Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas and Kharg Island over the past decade.

On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced sanctions on seven international companies, including Ofer Brothers Group, claiming that they had activities in Iran's energy sector.

“We believe that Tanker Pacific and Ofer Brothers Group failed to exercise due diligence and did not heed publicly available and easily obtainable information that would have indicated that they were dealing with IRISL (Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines),” the US State Department said in a statement.

However, Chairman of Iran's Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines Mohammad Nahavandian on Friday rebutted news about Israel's economic activities in Iran, saying Tehran has no business with 'Zionist' companies which are the root cause of sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

“News about activities of Zionist (Israeli) firms in Iran is a new game started in reaction to the willingness of certain countries to establish economic ties with Iran,” he said.

Western powers -- led by the United States -- have been making attempts to cripple Iran's energy sector in an attempt to dissuade it from carrying on with its peaceful nuclear program.

On June 9, 2010, the UN Security Council approved a US-engineered resolution imposing a fourth round of sanctions on Iran, particularly targeting its energy and financial sectors over unverified allegations that the Islamic Republic is pursuing a clandestine nuclear weapons program.

Shortly after the UN sanctions, Washington imposed fresh unilateral sanctions against Iran's financial and energy sectors, and then pressured Japan, Canada, and Australia to impose similar unilateral sanctions on the Islamic Republic to hit investment in the country's energy-related industries.

Iran says that as a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency and a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, it has a right to pursue and utilize nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, including electricity generation and medical research.

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