Monday, January 11, 2010

French Container Shipping Line Denies Iran Link

CMA CGM will not call regularly at Bushehr
Shipping News Feature

FRANCE – IRAN – Reports in the Iranian press this week proclaiming that French giant shipping line CMA CGM had “begun operations” into the port of Bushehr have been denied by the company who described a call made to the port by the 1100 TEU container vessel “Simba” as “Exceptional”

Reports in the Tehran Times quote a port deputy director at Bushehr, situated on the West coast of the Gulf opposite the Saudi and Kuwait coastlines, claiming throughput of traffic by the company was about to increase “tenfold”. This was allegedly after staff from CMA CGM have spent months studying local infrastructure and the ports handling capabilities.

In a statement to the Handy Shipping Guide a company spokesperson said “The Bushehr call is exceptional and not part of the current FAS GULF2 Irak service rotation (Khor al Fakkan, Mina Qaboos, Sohar, Khor al Fakkan) on which the CMA CGM Simba is operated”.

It is just three weeks since ANL, a CMA CGM subsidiary, learned they will not face prosecution for transporting ten containers of weapons sourced in North Korea and allegedly bound illegally for Iran. The massive munitions haul was found last summer in a security check at the mouth of the Gulf when the ANL Australia had her cargo inspected in the UAE. The vessel was flagged in the Bahamas and had been chartered to an Italian company, OTIM as reported here.

pic: ANL Australia