Baku, Azerbaijan, July 22
By Fatih Karimov - Trend: Iran 's tanker fleet is ready to enter the European oil market after lifting of sanctions against the country, said Ali Akbar Safaei, managing director of the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC).
"With measures which have been taken over the past year, we can announce that there is no problem to expand operations in the international market," Iran's Fars news agency quoted Safaei as saying July 22.
Referring to the nuclear deal with the P5+1 group and the adoption of the deal by the UN Security Council, he said that the deal will open a new chapter in the Iranian economy and especially in the country's maritime industry.
On July 14, Iran and the P5+1 group - the United States, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany - reached a conclusion on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in Vienna following 18 days of intensive talks over Tehran's nuclear program.
The UN Security Council on July 20 unanimously adopted a resolution endorsing the JCPOA reached between Iran and the P5+1 on non-proliferation.
"European suppliers of maritime services and spare parts have announced their readiness to resume cooperation with the tanker company. This issue is being studied," Safaei said.
NITC - a major transporter of Iran's oil - contested the EU's original blacklisting last year, arguing that the firm is privately owned by Iranian pension funds. It has denied any links with the Iranian government or with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards.
In May, Safaei said Maritime transportation accounts for 93 percent of the country's total trade.
Sanctions on the shipping and the insurance industries did not cripple the NITC; the company holds the world's largest fleet with 15.5 million metric tons of capacity, he said.
European governments should know that imposing sanctions on NITC would deprive the international maritime industry of capacities of a large and modern transport fleet, Safaei said.
Edited by CN