Hong Kong to cut Iranian ships from register
Reuters / Jonathan Saul and Alison Leung

Hong Kong will stop allowing 19 ships linked to the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) from operating under its flag, a government letter showed, in the latest blow to Tehran's sanctions-hit global trade.

A letter from the Hong Kong government's marine department (HKMD) dated November 9 and seen by Reuters showed the authority had given notice to the owners of the 19 ships.

Hong Kong had been urged by U.S. pressure group United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) to end the flagging of 19 dry bulk ships, which the group said were owned, managed or operated by IRISL and its front companies.

Last month IRISL's managing director, Mohammad Hussein Dajmar, said Western sanctions were hurting Iran's shipping industry and that the carrier would face increasingly grave problems if the pressure continued.

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