15 Aug 2012

Tuvalu deregisters Iranian tankers, says report

4:49 pm on 15 August 2012

A regional media agency is reporting that Tuvalu has de-registered all Iranian oil tankers from its registry in Singapore after pressures from the United States.

Pacnews says it has been reliably informed the vessels were removed from the Tuvalu registry last week.

It is understood that 22 Iranian oil tankers were re-flagged under the Tuvalu flag of convenience before July.

These vessels had been transferred from the Malta registry to Tuvalu in an attempt by Iran to escape the sanctions imposed by the United Nations and the European Union, which came into force at the beginning of July.

The government of Tuvalu has not made any public comments since a prominent US politician, Howard Berman, called on the US government to take aggressive action to change Tuvalu's policy of abetting Iran in evading US sanctions.

Reuters reported that in response, Tuvalu, which confirmed it had registered the Iranian vessels, said it would monitor them and take action if any ship violated United Nations sanctions.