Anti-Iran sanctions are forcing a shipping company backed by the governments of India and Iran to close, the company said on Wednesday.
The Irano Hind Shipping Co., jointly owned by the Shipping Corp. of India and the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, was formed in 1974 and is among the few international ventures to survive the 1979 Islamic Revolution and decades of economic and diplomatic pressure from the West.
“The fleet will be split between the two partners,” said S. Hajara, chairman and managing director of Shipping Corp. of India. “Irano Hind will cease operation.”
“Charters don’t want to take vessels which are under sanctions,” he said. “The company is having difficulty deploying the vessels and that’s why the decision has been taken.”
India is one of the main targets of U.S. attempts to chip away at Iran’s critical commercial lifelines across Asia. In May, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited New Delhi to urge leaders to cut back on oil imports from Iran about 9 per cent of India’s fast-rising energy consumption and turn to other suppliers such as Saudi Arabia.
The break-up of Irano Hind which was placed under U.N. sanctions in 2010 shows how even longstanding companies can quickly become unhinged by the widening sanctions.
The joint venture owned 51 per cent by Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines and 49 per cent by the Indian side was formed by Iran’s former Shah Reza Pahlavi and the Indira Gandhi of India as a bond of friendship.