Shen Yong, an individual based in Shanghai, China, owner of 37 companies registered in Hong Kong, most of which are linked in some way to IRISL. The 37 companies “control at least 10 ocean-going container vessels and five oil tankers”;
The U.S. government-funded broadcaster had previously used company records to connect Shen to four shipping companies – Reach Shipping Lines, Delight Shipping, Gracious Shipping, and Noble Shipping – registered in Hong Kong and identified as having done business with IRISL. The U.S. State Department on October 19 imposed sanctions on these four companies plus the additional Supreme Shipping for “having knowingly sold, supplied, or transferred to Iran significant goods or services used in connection with the shipping sector of Iran.”
IRISL has long been a target of U.S. sanctions for transporting “proliferation-sensitive items intended for Iran’s ballistic missile and military programs,” the U.S. State Department noted. It added that its recent decision to impose “snapback” U.N. sanctions on Tehran after the terms of a 2007 Iran arms embargo expired meant that IRISL was again subject to a U.N. provision punishing entities that conduct business with the Iranian state shipping line.
“The first IRISL-linked companies start appearing in Hong Kong’s companies registry in 2008, gradually increasing as Iran was sanctioned by the United Nations in 2010, and accelerating after 2016 with the establishment of at least 10 new companies in Hong Kong, despite the country’s signing of a nuclear non-proliferation agreement,” RFA reported.
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