Investment in Panama is easy and laws are simple and it has made millions of companies in the world establish companies or offices in this central American state or buy companies from those companies in the country which are established by the registry attorneys in the country and they pay some money to their lawyers for safeguarding their legal bodies. So any company which is established in Panama can take advantage of this country’s trademark and flag in the world. To evade huge amount of taxes, thousands of companies have registered their marine activities in Panama and hundreds of vessels of those companies have been registered in this country and they hoist the flag of Panama. Iran is one of those countries which runs its oil tankers under ownership of Panamanian companies and believes it is its indisputable right to use the flag of Panama on its vessels when the vessels have been registered in Panama.
IRAN NEWS POLITICAL DESK
Panama has recently announced that Iranian vessels are not allowed to use Panama flags on their vessels and the decision has been made under the U.S. pressure and for pleasing UK. This propaganda announcement even has forced Panamanian lawyers to protest over the illegal decision of the government. After the U.S. government re-imposed sanctions on Iran in 2018, the Panamanian government removed 59 Iranian-linked ships from its registry.
A couple of days ago the Gibraltar government seized supertanker Grace 1 which was passing with Panama flag on its dock. This happened while Panama’s Maritime Authority (PMA) said on Thursday July 4th that Iranian tanker Grace 1 (IMO 9116412) ceased to be listed in Panama’s international boat registry as of May 29th.
According to the international maritime laws, any ship which plies in the sea should be under registration by a country. Panama has the largest shipping fleet in the world with almost 7,100 vessels registered in Panama. That Panama decides to remove 59 oil tankers from its registry just because of an empty claim and by accusing them of violating the international maritime laws is not acceptable legally, and that one can delist a ship from registry without the court ruling is like the jungle law.
According to the Russian news agency Sputnik, Panama’s Maritime Authority in a statement recently condemned strongly using vessels with Panama flags in the illegal activities which threaten lives of people. The statement further said that “those who clearly violate the laws, conventions and international agreements will be sanctioned and will run the risk that the ship is canceled from the Registry.”
Panamanian Ship Registry officially started withdrawing the registration of MT Riah after an investigation determined the tanker had “deliberately violated international regulations,” the AMP said.
In its statement, it claimed that those vessels which disrespect laws, conventions and the international agreements would be punished.
According to the public relations of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), its forces detained the oil tanker MT Riah when it was smuggling one million liters of Iranian fuel in the northern part of the Strait of Hormuz and in south of Larak Island. The IRGC in its statement reiterated that the vessel was seized because of violating the international laws.
That Panamanian government, without the court ruling and just for the U.S. and UK pressures, breaches explicitly international laws and ignores ownership rights of companies which pay taxes, needs a legal battle and Iran’s legal structures should urgently take Panama to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, in order to prove them that world is not administered on the Jungle Law.
By: Hamid Reza Naghashian
- source : Iran news