JULY 18, 2012 — Last week, U.S. based lobbying group United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) called on Tokyo, Japan, headquartered classification society Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK), to close its Tehran office and stop certifying Iranian entities.
Yesterday, Reuters reported ClassNK as saying it did not verify safety and environmental standards for Iranian ships, but was nevertheless pulling out of Iran.
The news agency reported a senior ClassNK official as saying "we have no vessels with Iranian flags, so we do not think that our current activities are running foul of the Iran sanctions," but that "considering the environment that surrounds us as of late ... we have officially decided to close our Tehran office."
UANI CEO, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, responded by applauding the decision. He said that, once it followed up on the decision to end its work in Iran, "ClassNK will have closed yet another avenue for the Iranian regime to circumvent international sanctions."
Ambassador Wallace added "we call on the Korean Register of Shipping and others to follow the lead of ClassNK, Bureau Veritas, Germanischer Lloyd, and others and help impose an international shipping blockade on Iran."