Despite the political tensions evident between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Saudi Arabia, United Arab Shipping Company (UASC), jointly-owned by six Arab states (Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and UAE), has decided to resume business with Iran, according to gCaptain.
The news come shortly after a nuclear deal was agreed to allow non-US countries to begin oil trading, as well as insurance, banking and shipping services with Iranian government entities.
According to the BBC, the Saudi-Iranian rivalry stems from a historic argument dating back to 1,000 years ago between two opposing sides of the Islam faith – Shia and Sunnis – and has since resulted in a power struggle between both nations.
More recently, Iran has claimed that Saudi bombers targeted its embassy in Yemen.
UASC said: “It is important to note that a number of sanctions are still in place, therefore, the ability to accept cargo volumes to/from Iran will continue to be based on UASC’s strict internal compliance check, which is in line with the international laws and applicable sanctions.
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“For the shipping industry, the relaxation of sanctions is likely to create opportunities resulting in additional volumes due to the expected increase in infrastructure projects as well as the ability of Iranian consumers to access a wider range of foreign goods.”
A UASC source said: “Whatever makes sense commercially and whatever benefits customers are a priority. That is how UASC looks at this matter. Qatar and Saudi being the largest shareholders in UASC clearly do not impact its commercial activities.”
World-leading shipping line Maersk Line recently vowed not to begin trading with Iran again until the sanctions were lifted, which could mean that the line will begin trading again soon.