On Thursday, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) called on the Philtex Corporation, and its Director and President, Chris E. Warren, to immediately clarify the nature of its operations in Tanzania for Iranian vessels. UANI also is calling on Tanzania to investigate Philtex’s operations in the country, and take action to ensure that Philtex will no longer certify Iranian vessels with the Tanzanian flag.
Philtex, a corporation based in the UAE but run by Warren out of Texas, provides flagging services for Tanzania. Numerous reports (see here, here, and here) have identified as many as 17 Iranian vessels flying the Tanzanian flag. Both Philtex and Tanzania have claimed to be unaware of why this is occurring.
This week, UANI called on Philtex to stop improperly classifying Iranian vessels and end its relationship with the Iranian regime. Philtex has been engaged in deceptive and improper classification activities, and does not even maintain public lists of the vessels or the entities it provides services for.
Last week, UANI sent a letter to Tanzania’s President, Jakaya Kikwete, asking Tanzania to immediately state whether it has stopped reflagging Iranian ships, and either stop doing so or act with diligence to prevent Iranian vessels from continuing to sail the seas with Tanzanian flags.
Said UANI CEO, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace:
Numerous reports have indicated that Iranian ships are being flagged in Tanzania and flying the Tanzanian flag. This is unacceptable and must end immediately. Philtex is an unreputable entity that is known to be servicing Iranian vessels in other parts of the world. As such, Philtex must go further than making vague denials and clarify the nature of its work in Tanzania and stop flagging Iranian vessels.
Tanzania must take responsibility for this matter, and ensure that no Iranian vessels are flying its flag. We call on Tanzania to investigate the activities Philtex is conducting in the country, and either take action to stop the reflagging of Iranian vessels or revoke Philtex’s contracts.
The international community has successfully limited Iran’s shipping capabilities and greatly isolated the regime from the rest of the world. In order to support that effort and pressure the regime to end its nuclear weapons program, all parties must act responsibility and keep the regime from circumventing sanctions.
UANI has highlighted the shipping industry as an area where the international community can further pressure Iran. In a March 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 now 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.
to read UANI’s full November 30 letter to Philtex.
Click here to read UANI’s November 27 letter to Tanzania.
Click here to read UANI’s November 21 letter to Tanzania.
Click here to learn more about UANI's Shipping Campaign.