Sanctions to shut Indian-Iranian shipping company
AP / Brian Murphy and Erika Kinetz

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates—An Iranian-led shipping venture that predates the 1979 Islamic Revolution is now unraveling as one of the most high-profile blows from international sanctions and U.S.-driven efforts to drive wedges between Tehran and its key trading partners.

"The fleet will be split between the two partners," Sabyasachi Hajara, chairman and managing director of Shipping Corp. of India, told The Associated Press. "Irano Hind will cease operation."

The joint venture -- IRISL with 51 percent to the Indian side's 49 percent -- was formed by Iran's former Shah Reza Pahlavi and the late Indira Gandhi of India as a bond of friendship. The company was among the few international business pacts that survived the upheavals of the Islamic Revolution and then managed to ride out decades of Western isolation against Tehran's Islamic rulers.

But years of escalating sanctions have taken a toll. Officials at India's Shipping Ministry have reportedly raised alarms about growing losses at Irano Hind and difficulties to find insurance to carry Iranian oil.

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