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130,000 ships dock annually at Iranian ports, defying US sanctions

The file photo shows a view of Iran's southern port of Shahid Rajaee.

Nearly 130,000 ships dock at Iranian ports annually in defiance of brutal US sanctions against the Islamic Republic, says Iran’s deputy roads and urban development minister.

Speaking in the southern port of Shahid Rajaee on Saturday, Ali-Akbar Safaei, who is also the head of Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization, emphasized that the pressure on Iran was meant to prevent Iranian ships from international waters.

However, “the shipping lines connecting Shahid Rajaee port to different parts of the world have provided conditions for … merchants to have commercial and economic activities as well as exchange goods in various countries,” he said.

Safaei further said that Iran has managed to design an integrated system, comprising automatic monitoring systems, radars and electronic maps, which enables the country to keep an eye on any traffic and ship activity at its territorial waters and waterways up to 200 miles of the exclusive economic zone and sometimes beyond that distance.

“Despite the cruel sanctions, Iran has done and will do its best to overcome problems. To a large extent, we have been able to present and implement very good strategies toward economic prosperity,” he asserted.

“The mass transit of ships to Iran’s territorial waters and exclusive economic zone takes place under full compliance with safety issues and without harm to the marine environment.”

The United States under former president Donald Trump reinstated crippling sanctions on Iran after unilaterally walking out of the 2015 nuclear deal in May 2018, despite Tehran’s full compliance with the terms of the agreement.

The sanctions, maintained by Trump’s successor Joe Biden, have targeted Iran’s trade in different industries such as shipping.

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