Wärtsilä provides technology and marine diesel engines to Chinese shipbuilders that are currently building oil tankers for the Iranian regime. Wärtsilä reportedly maintains a presence in Iran through its agents and licensees.
Wärtsilä’s activities are of particular concern given that the international community is attempting to isolate Iranian via its shipping industry, and new tankers greatly assist the regime in attempting to overcome such efforts.
UANI is calling on Wärtsilä to completely end all business related to Iran, and investigate and end any support for the construction of new oil tankers to be used by the regime.
In a letter to Wärtsilä President & CEO, Björn Rosengren, UANI CEO, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, wrote:
Earlier this year, UANI launched its Shipping Campaign to compel international shippers, classification societies, P&I clubs and governments worldwide to cease their [Iran] business…In response to UANI’s campaign, members of the International Association of Classification Societies…ceased their classification of Iranian vessels.
Despite these positive developments, a few irresponsible entities continue to provide valuable expertise, services and investment to the Iranian regime. For example, Wärtsilä has reportedly supplied engines for IRISL vessels, and stated that it maintains an agent in Iran to handle future business with power plant and shipbuilding clients. Moreover, Wärtsilä is apparently involved in the construction of 12 new Very Large Crude Carriers (“VLCCs”) for the NITC. The vessels, built in shipyards owned by the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (“CSIC”) and the China State Shipbuilding Corporation (“CSSC”), will expand the NITC’s carriage and storage capacity by up to 24 million barrels. Through license agreements and joint ventures, Wärtsilä supplies CSIC and CSSC with parts and technology, such as Wärtsilä RT-flex50, RT-flex60C and RT-flex82C engines, to produce the low-speed marine diesel engines required to power vessels such as Iran’s new VLCCs. The Iranian regime’s seaborne export capacity is currently limited by restrictions on the provision of technical expertise and tanker replacement parts to Iran, as well as by the age of the vessels in the NITC’s fleet. Wärtsilä’s work with the CSIC and CSSC supports the construction of VLCCs for the NITC fleet and will greatly assist the regime in overcoming such limitations. Put simply, Wärtsilä is assisting the Iranian regime’s development of its most lucrative economic sector, the revenues from which go directly to fund the regime’s nefarious activities, including its nuclear program.
In addition, Wärtsilä’s business in Iran includes a partnership with the Iran Heavy Diesel Engine Mfg Co. (“DESA”), a regime-controlled entity that provides services to such sanctioned entities as the Iran Shipbuilding & Offshore Industries Complex (“ISOICO”), Iran Marine Industrial Company (“SADRA”), and the National Iranian Drilling Company (“NIDC”). DESA and its sanctioned clients are owned or controlled by the Industrial Development and Renovation Organization of Iran (“IDRO”), an arm of the Iranian regime controlled by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (“IRGC”) and blacklisted by the U.S., UK and EU for its activities in a wide range of nuclear and military industries. In light of its connection to IDRO, Wärtsilä’s apparent partnership with DESA is clearly unacceptable.
UANI has highlighted the shipping industry as an area where the international community can further pressure Iran. In a May 17 Wall Street Journal Op-Ed, six UANI board members wrote that “the world must deny Iran's access to international shipping, a move that would severely affect the regime given its dependence on global trade and seaborne crude oil exports.”
All thirteen of the world’s major shipping services have stopped certifying Iranian vessels following UANI’s campaign, including Bureau Veritas, Germanischer Lloyd, the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping, Korean Register of Shipping, China Classification Society, and ClassNK. UANI has also announced that Barbados, Hong Kong, Moldova and Mongolia have stopped their reflagging of Iranian vessels.
UANI has requested a reply from Wärtsilä by December 21, 2012.